New formula shows higher poverty in US
New data shows that over 49 million people in the US are living in poverty. (File photo)
A new supplemental poverty measure shows the number of Americans living in poverty has reached a new level of over 49 million people, which is much higher than previous estimates
The Census Bureau's new method for measuring poverty shows that the US poverty rate was 16 percent in 2010, up from the official rate of 15.2 percent released earlier, Bloomberg reported on Monday.
The new method which is called the 'Supplemental Poverty Measure' is based on how much families spend on food, clothing, shelter and utilities.
Since the 1960s, the Census Bureau measures the poverty rate by tripling a family's annual food budget.
According to new measures, senior citizens have seen the highest poverty jump. Among those 65 and older, the supplemental rate was 15.9 percent, an increase from the official 9 percent rate.
It also shows that the number of Hispanics living in poverty has risen to over 28 percent, making it the first time that poverty among Hispanics surpasses that of African Americans.
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.
According to analysts, 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.