Haider Rizvi at OneWorld:
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (OneWorld) – It is one of the most affluent countries in the world, but sill millions of people in the United States find it very difficult to put a nice meal on their dinner table. Nationwide, more than 36 million people, or nearly 13 percent of the total population, lived in poverty last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau report released this week.
Among those officially considered “poor,” over one third are children, most of them non-white minorities such as African Americans, Latinos, and Asians.
The data reveals continued inequality and concentration of wealth in the United States, with the top 20 percent of households receiving over 50 percent of the nation’s income, while the lowest 20 percent got just a little over 3 percent.
“The impact of race, ethnicity, and gender is extremely disturbing,” notes Roberta Spivek of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker organization involved in numerous campaigns for economic and social rights.
According to the data, more than 8 percent of non-Hispanic whites, about 10 percent of Asians, over 20 percent of Hispanics, and some 24 percent of African Americans are “poor.”
Although the Hispanic poverty rate went down by about 1 percent last year, African Americans and non-White Hispanics are still about three times more likely than whites to be poor.
Single mothers figure among the nation’s poor who suffer the most. “Being a single mother has an alarming effect,” Spivek noted, reflecting on the gender-specific aspect of the numbers.