Poverty numbers on rise in US, NC

  • Posted: Saturday, October 15, 2011 12:01 a.m.
    UPDATED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:22 a.m.

One in six Americans, 46.2 million people, lived in poverty in 2010, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Thatís an increase of 2.6 million people since 2009 and itís the largest number of Americans living in poverty in the 52 years the data has been collected
About 17.5 percent of North Carolinians, 1.6 million people, live in poverty, according to a report released by the N.C. Budget & Tax Center.
In Rowan County that number is about 21.3 percent, up from 11.4 percent in 2007.
More than 12,000 students in Rowan County, 60 percent of the Rowan-Salisbury School System's enrollment, come from economically disadvantaged homes. In 2007, that number hovered above 10,000, about 49 percent of the districtís students. School officials gauge poverty levels based on federal guidelines for free and reduced-price lunches.
Between 2009 and 2010, the national poverty rate for children under age 18 climbed from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent, according to the Census Bureau
The poverty rate for children in North Carolina grew from 19.5 percent in 2007 to 24.9 percent in 2010.
Nearly one in four of Rowan Countyís children live in poverty, according to a report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
In 2007, the rate of child poverty in Rowan County was 17.1 percent. That figured grew to 24.3 percent, an increase of more than 2,400 children, in 2009, according to the Casey Foundation.
Of the countyís 53,249 households, 26,000 received some type of government assistance such as Medicaid, food stamps or Work First financial aid last year, according to the Rowan County Department of Social Services.
Last year, more than 1,500 families who had never been to Rowan Helping Ministries before came there for groceries, clothes of financial assistance.
Rowan Helping Ministries has converted an office into a makeshift family room to house a mother and two children to accommodate the need for housing children
The median household income in North Carolina fell from $49,392 in 2007 to $43,326 in 2010, according to the N.C. Budget and Tax Center.
Note: Some data is compared to 2007 because that year was the start of the Great Recession.

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