A Brief Snapshot of Hardship in America

November 24, 2010 at 11:13 am

As we think about what we have to be thankful for this holiday season, it’s important to remember that millions of Americans are having trouble affording basic necessities.  Below are the most current figures available in five important areas.

  • 1.6 million people were homeless in 2009 and spent at least part of the year in a shelter; nearly 325,000 of them were children.
  • 15 million people were unemployed as of October, 6 million of whom had been looking for work for more than half a year.
  • 44 million people were poor in 2009, 19 million of whom had incomes below half of the poverty line (half of the poverty line corresponds to an income of $5,478 for an individual and $10,977 for a family of four).
  • 50 million people lacked access to adequate food at some point in 2009 because they didn’t have enough money for groceries.  Nearly 18 million people lived in households where one or more people had to skip meals or take other steps to reduce their food intake because of lack of resources.
  • 51 million people lacked health coverage in 2009.
Print Friendly

3 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. Anne Hewitt #
    1

    This does not account for the underground economy. Many people do not receive w2’s or 1099’s and report 0 income. I know as many people working off the books as on. Most independent contractors from painter, carpenters and plumbers to housekeepers, roofers, musicians, painters and farmers have off the book income. This goes for most landlords as well.

  2. just keepin it real #
    2

    15 million unemployed lol, under counted by oh 20 mil,but who’s counting

  3. mabel koshy #
    3

    It is important to be aware of the current plight of many…there are false assumptions that we are a rich country with opportunities… individualism and self centeredness has become the slogan … how did we get where we are? how can each of us participate honestly without becoming sensational and illed with rage.



Your Comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation about important policy issues. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the CBPP and do not constitute official endorsement by CBPP. Please note that comments will be approved during the Center's business hours. If you have questions, please contact communications@cbpp.org.




four × 8 =

 characters available