A look at some of the poverty data for 2010 — tough numbers for tough times

There’s been a lot of press the last couple of days about poverty in the United States and in Georgia. I’m not going to give a full recap of any of that, so check out news items like this one from the AJC.

Note in this table from the U.S. Census that we have about 14 million more Americans living in poverty than we did at the turn of the century:

Note here the stability of the poverty rate among Americans over 65 (no doubt linked to Social Security and Medicare), and the recent uptick among all other Americans:

Check out these bullet points from the Census:

  • The official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent — up from 14.3 percent in 2009. This was the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points, from 12.5 percent to 15.1 percent.
  • In 2010, 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009—the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for non-Hispanic Whites (from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent), for Blacks (from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent), and for Hispanics (from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent). For Asians, the 2010 poverty rate (12.1 percent) was not statistically different from the 2009 poverty rate.
  • The poverty rate in 2010 (15.1 percent) was the highest poverty rate since 1993 but was 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available.
  • The number of people in poverty in 2010 (46.2 million) is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.
  • Between 2009 and 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age 18 (from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent) and people aged 18 to 64 (from 12.9 percent to 13.7 percent), but was not statistically different for people aged 65 and older (9.0 percent).

There’s lots more data broken down by race, country of birth, family status, etc. at the Census site here.

For Chatham County as a whole, according to American Community Survey data released this past week, 48,909 people were living in poverty of a total of 253,999 whose poverty status was determined. That’s 19.3%. Poverty is far higher within the city of Savannah; Savannah’s rate is 25.1% (1 in 4 people) with 32,242 out of 128,255 people living in poverty. That means that the estimated poverty rate for those Chatham County residents living outside the Savannah city limits would be about 13.3%.

The countywide poverty rate is 10.5% for non-Hispanic whites, 27.7% for blacks, and 39.7% for Hispanics or Latinos (of any race).

Chatham County’s numbers are slightly worse than the state as a whole. Georgia had 17.9% poverty rate; the statewide rate is 11.2% for non-Hispanic whites, 26.7% for blacks, and 31.9% for Latinos. (By the way, I’ve seen some slightly different numbers reported, which I do not know how to account for. I’m getting these directly from the newly released data.)

As the population continues to grow, we’re going to see more people fall into poverty if we don’t have a significant recovery in the job market.