Poverty is Prevalent in Hispanics and Women

With the economy continuing to struggle, America’s poverty rates have continued to increase. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 43.6 million Americans were living below the poverty level in 2009, which was 14.3% of the entire nation. By 2010, the national poverty rate rose to 15.1%.  Of all the people who can be categorized as “poor”, statistics show that Hispanics and women are the groups most affected by poverty. Today, 1 out of every 4 Hispanics (27%) in the United States lives in poverty, a significant increase from the 2008 study by the Census Bureau that reflected a 23.2% poverty rate among Hispanics. Although the slumping economy has hit every racial group, white and Asian Americans have been found to take home significantly larger incomes than Hispanics.

But Hispanics are not the only ones disproportionately impacted by a depressed economy; women have also been severely affected by poverty. In 2010, the poverty rate for single mother families increased to 40.7%, the highest rate since 1997. A large gender gap has persisted for as long as the United States has measured poverty rates and that continued in 2010.  That year, adult women were 29% more likely to be poor than adult men, with a poverty rate of 14.5% compared to the 11.2% rate for men.  Part of this disparity is attributable to differences in pay.  Even women who hold the same executive positions as men do not make nearly as much money as the men. Even though women’s salaries rose in the past year by a nickel more than their male counterparts, it would still take more than a lifetime before equal pay could be reached between the sexes in the United States.

For more information on how Hispanics and women are disproportionately struggling with poverty, please see the following links:

  • http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/10/women_poverty.html
  • http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2011/0913/Poverty-rate-rises-especially-for-Hispanics
  • http://legalmomentum.typepad.com/blog/2010/09/poverty-rates-rise-to-all-time-high-demonstrating-critical-need-to-strengthen-social-safety-net.html

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