The emergence of the working poor in the world's second largest economy has shocked a public used to the image of a rich and egalitarian nation with lifetime employment for its workers. The latest figures from the government reports a 15.7 percent poverty rate. Compared to other industrialized nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says Japan ranks fourth, behind Mexico, Turkey and the United States.Yep, that's us, the good ol' U S of A on that list.
According to the Census Bureau, in 2008 the poverty level was 13.8%, a 1.3% increase over 2007. No doubt it went up in 2009, for reasons we're all too familiar with (and which the article seems to indicate). In 2009, Health and Human Services listed the "poverty line" guidelines for the US. Those numbers ($10, 830 for a single individual in the contiguous 48) look awfully low.
Also, here are some other factoids mentioned by the Bread for the World Institute, who bring you the Hunger Report:
*A family of four generally needs to earn twice the poverty threshold to provide children with basic necessities.None of these numbers are comforting.
*24.5 percent of black and 21.5 percent of Hispanic people live in poverty, compared to 8.2 percent of white people. 34.5 percent of black and 28.6 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 15 percent of white children.
*16.5 percent of foreign born US residents experience poverty versus 11.9 percent of native born residents. This number is particularly high among immigrants who have not naturalized, at 21.3 percent.