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L.A. County poverty rate increases to 16% in 2009

Los Angeles County’s poverty rate jumped to 16.1% in 2009, up from 15.2% the previous year, according to Census Bureau data released Tuesday.

More than 1.56 million county residents lived below the poverty threshold, which is $10,956 for one person and $21,954 for a family of four, according to the bureau’s annual American Community Survey.

The poverty rate for Latinos was 21.9%, African Americans 19.7%, Asians 10.5% and whites 9.3%. During the same period, the median household income for county residents declined from $55,356 to $54,467, according to the report.

An estimated 29% of the county’s full-time workers earned less than $25,000 per year in 2009.

Meanwhile, the percentage of the population without health insurance increased to 22.6% -- or 2.2 million -- last year, compared to 21.7% the year before, the survey found.

The higher poverty level means higher costs for government programs, such as food stamps and unemployment compensation, and potentially heavier tax burdens for the country as a whole.

California's poverty rate jumped to 15.3% last year, the highest in 11 years. Analysis by the California Budget Project showed that 2 million children in the state lived in families with incomes below the poverty line.

States such as California and Illinois are feeling particular strain because they have been hit harder by the recession, with above-average levels of unemployment and home foreclosures.

For the U.S. as a whole, the rise in the poverty level that began a decade ago and accelerated during the recession has wiped out all the gains made during the long run of economic growth and prosperity in the 1990s.

The Census Bureau said 43.6 million people, or 14.3%,  lived below the poverty line last year, compared with 13.2% the previous year and 11.3% in 2000.

-- Carlos Lozano

Comments () | Archives (11)

Do those figures include all the middle class who have lost jobs and are scrapping by?

It's actually twice that rate; they are lying!

Have there been any studies that factor in "unreported income?" We know there are large numbers of people who work under the table. I'm curious how many people would still be classified as "living in poverty" if *all* of their income was considered.

No kidding. Who'd a thunk it?

Thanks in large part to the policies of the Obama administration, and the democrat congress. So much for hope and change.

The one thing our elected officials created, was a tax vacuum when they allowed employers to hire illegal immigrants, Now, in order for small businesses that wanted to keep ethical, are hiring Americans under the table, cutting out uncle sam, altogether, and it allows their American workers to make pretty decent money and still be able to compete with the wheenies that not only have no ethics, but can give a damn about the health of America, or her people.

Unlike the position our government took against Arizona, if they go after companies that hire Americans under the table, that will create a terrible political reality for them.

So, we're at square one, cutting programs, and taking from peter to pay paul. And, they could end it all, by simply mandating e-verify. at least 5 million Americans will go to work, businesses that have went under the table, can rise above it, taxes will be in rotation, and we can get this economy back rolling.

ohh please... it will take years and years to undue the last administrations mess.

Obama and Pelosi will say: "Mission Acomplished". By 2012 number of poor ppl will double.

Why do we break down poverty rates by race ? Are they not all Angelinos ?

This is sad, hopefully this changes this year or next year. We must all agree, 2009 was a rough year.

Is that what Obama and Chicago gangster want?


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