Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Poverty in America

On the heels of a U.S. Census Bureau report that the number of Americans living in poverty soared by nearly 4 million last year, Catholic Charities USA said that its member agencies served a record 9.2 million clients in 2009 -- up 7.5 percent from the year before.

According to the Catholic Charities USA annual report released Sept. 21, 171 diocesan Catholic Charities agencies and their affiliates spent nearly $4.28 billion serving people in need, about 7 percent more than in 2008. Their revenue was about $4.14 billion, two-thirds of it from federal, state or local government funding.

The Census Bureau said the number of poor people in the United States climbed from 39.8 million in 2008 to 43.6 million in 2009, the highest number since the government began gathering poverty data in 1959. This means one in every seven people in the nation -- 14.3 percent -- was beneath the poverty line last year, the highest percentage since 1994.

The current poverty line is $22,050 in pre-tax income for a family of four. It is $10,830 for a single person.

Children were the hardest-hit by the recession -- 20 percent of them, or one in every five, were living in poverty last year, the bureau said.

From National Catholic Reporter. The entire article is available here.