Few people likely need a Census report to tell them more people are living in poverty during this recession, but there it is: nearly one out of seven people in the United States were living in poverty last year.
Poverty increased for every racial group from 2008 to 2009, but black and Hispanic Americans were far more likely living in poverty — more than one out of four were last year — than their white and Asian counterparts. Almost 30 percent of female-headed households with no husband were poverty-stricken, compared with less than 6 percent of households headed by married couples.
As grim as the national numbers are — numbers that represent 43.6 million human beings — South Carolina can only wish it had a poverty rate that low. The Palmetto State has had higher rates of poverty and unemployment than the nation as a whole for many years, and the Southeast had the highest regional poverty rate last year.
What's particularly striking about the income, poverty and health insurance data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau is how it shows that families continued to fall behind financially between the current recession and the last one.
In the 1980s and 1990s the poverty rate, and the number of people living in poverty, dropped significantly between recessions. In the 2000s, however, the number of people living in poverty continued to climb after the 2001-2002 recession and almost certainly climbed into 2010, although Census numbers for this year are not yet available.
Read more in Friday's editions of The Post and Courier.