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Poverty in the United States - Research Paper Example

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Majority of US citizens spend one year at least below this income at a particular point of their life between twenty-five and seventy-five years of age. There are more poor people in the inner cities and rural areas of the United States in comparison to suburban areas. Extreme poverty, which refers to those living on below $2, was twice in 2011 what it was in 1996, ranging at 1.5 million households (Danziger & Haveman, 2001). This was at least 15% of population in the US. By 2009, Americans living in poverty had grown to similar levels as it had in the 60s, which had necessitated the War on Poverty in the US. The Poor in America The federal poverty level in the US is used to define the poor. Rather than being based on their wellbeing, yearly consumption, or total wealth, it is based on the annual income of a family (United States Bureau of the Census, 2012). In determining who is poor in the United States, two definitions are used by various agencies for different purposes. The federal poverty level is the best measure of who exactly is poor in the United States. This measure is also used in the determination of who gets federal aid and subsidies. For the year 2013, the annual income for a family to be described as poor in the US is $23,550 (United States Bureau of the Census, 2012). For larger families, this can be computed by adding $4,020 per each person or subtracting the same for each person in smaller families. The poverty level guidelines for the poor are a little higher in Hawaii and Alaska because the standard of living is higher in these locations. The poverty rate is representative of an average over the whole US population and is not revealing of who is well off or not. For example, the poverty rates for Hispanics and African Americans are much higher than the national average (United States Bureau of the Census, 2012). This rate remained for Hispanics and African Americans stayed at thirty percent in the 80s and 90s and later started to fall. The rates of poverty for these two groups fell to their lowest levels in 2000, although the rates had risen again to almost the same level as before in 2010. People who define themselves as African American have the highest rates of poverty at approximately 28%, while those who are Hispanic of origin have a poverty rate of at least 26%. Asians, on the other hand, have a poverty rate of 12%, while white Americans who are not of Hispanic origin have a poverty rate of at least 9% (United States Bureau of the Census, 2012). Reasons for Poverty The reasons for poverty in the United States include the increase in part time compared to full time work, poor wages, jobs that have higher poverty rates than others, education levels, having children, and racial discrimination in employment (Lawson & Lawson, 2010). Some 46 million people in the United States lived below the official poverty line in the United States in 2011, which makes up at least 15% of the entire population (Lawson & Lawson, 2010). Out of these, approximately ten million are classified as working poor who are people that have a job, or have been looking for a job for at least six months, although they are still below the poverty level. A report by the BLS, or Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that the number of working Poor Americans ...Show more
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Poverty in the United States Name: Institution: POVERTY IN THE UNITED STATES Introduction Poverty can be defined as a lack of material possession or money that is socially or normally acceptable. It is also defined as being in a state of privation. The poverty threshold is the common poverty measure instituted by the US government, which recognizes a lack of services and products that mainstream society takes for granted as being poor (Danziger & Haveman, 2001)…
Poverty in the United States
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