A man looks through the trash in New York City. (file photo)
Source: Press TV
Nearly 1 in 2 Americans have now fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income, a report by the US Census Bureau says.
Based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau more than ninety seven million Americans are considered to have low-income, defined as between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level.
Another 49.1 million Americans live below the poverty line, meaning 146.4 million Americans, or 48 percent are considered low-income or poor, Associated Press reported on Thursday.
The new measure of poverty takes into account medical, commuting and other living costs. The new method raised the number of people below 200 percent of the poverty level up from 104 million, or 1 in 3 Americans that was officially reported in September.
The new data shows that children were most likely to be poor or low-income - about 57 percent, followed by seniors over 65.
Meanwhile Hispanics topped the list at 73 percent, followed by blacks, Asians and non-Hispanic whites.
Among low-income families, about one-third was considered poor while the remainder - 6.9 million - earned income just above the poverty line.
The US recession began in 2007. More than a year after the recession officially ended in 2009, the US unemployment rate remains above 9 percent, and the poverty rate rose to 15.3 percent in 2010 from 14.3 percent in 2009.
The “incredibly unequal top-down distribution of wealth” in the US has formed an elite group who controls most aspects of the country's affluence, according to analysts.
The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement emerged on September 17 in the financial district of New York City to protest at a number of issues including the wars in the Middle East, US financial crisis, rising poverty, soaring unemployment, and high bonuses for Wall Street executives.