Native Village
Youth and Education news
October 1, 2010, Volume 3

Census Finds Record Gap Between Rich and Poor
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/census-finds-record-gap-between-rich-and-poor/19651337?icid=main%7Chtmlws-sb-n%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk3%7C173763
Condensed by Native Village
 

Census data shows families of all income levels had tepid earnings in 2009. The poorest Americans took a larger hit: Last year, the 20% of Americans earning over $100,000 a year received 49.4% of all income generated in the U.S. Those below the poverty line received 3.4%.
That ratio of
14.5-to-1 increased from 13.6 in 2008 and nearly doubled the 7.69 low in 1968.
This inequality is at its highest level
The U.S. has the
greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.
The 5% of Americans earning more than $180,000 had higher incomes last year.
Families at the
$50,000 median level slipped lower.
The
2009 poverty level was set at $21,954 for a family of four. 
The poorest of the poor rose from
5.7% in 2008 to 6.3% and are at record highs --$10,977 for a family of four. It's the highest level since tracking began.
C
hild poverty is now 21% compared with 9% for older Americans.
In
2000, child poverty was 16%, and elderly poverty was 10%.
Children with government-sponsored health insurance jumped to
37%, or 27,600,000, from 24% in 2000.
 54% of Americans support raising taxes on the highest U.S. earners
In
2009, lower-skilled adults ages 18 - 34 had the largest jumps in poverty because jobs were not available.
Jobless young Americans are often forced to live with parents and others. They also face problems if they don't get training for future jobs. 

"Income inequality is rising, and if we took into account tax data, it would be even more," said Timothy Smeeding from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "More than other countries, we have a very unequal income distribution where compensation goes to the top in a winner-takes-all economy."

"It's certainly going to take a while for people to recover," said Rea Hederman, Jr. from The Heritage Foundation.


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