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Census Reveals 45 Million Americans Living in Poverty

By Daily Mail

September 15, 2010 -- "
Daily Mail" - - One in seven Americans is living below the poverty line, it was revealed yesterday.

With 45mn Americans officially designated as poor, the US census figures reflect the worst decline in living standards for more than half a century.

Child poverty also increased last year to more than one in five. That compares to one in three children in developing African nations.

The grim statistics are another serious blow to President Barack Obama and his Democrat Party and will be a key issue in the looming mid-term elections.

The American government sets the poverty line at 14,000 a year for a family of four.

The census report shows that about 15% of Americans earned less than that last year, up from 13.2% in 2008. It was the highest single-year-increase since the government began calculating percentages of poor in 1959. The previous high was in 1980, when the rate jumped 1.3 points to 13% during the energy crisis.

Mr Obama tried to put a brave face on the barrage of bleak economic data last week, insisting: 'The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there.

'If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle.'

But one Republican analyst said: 'The official poverty level grossly underestimates the amount of money needed to live a decent life in America today. The real number of people dealing with severe financial hardships is probably nearer 100m.'



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