By the Numbers: US Poverty

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US poverty (less than $19,090 for a family of three): 46.5 million people, 15 percent

Children in poverty: 16.4 million, 23 percent of all children, including 39.6 percent of African-American children and 33.7 percent of Latino children. Children are the poorest age group in the US

Deep poverty (less than $11,510 for a family of four): 20.4 million people, 1 in 15 Americans, including 7.1 million children

People who would have been in poverty if not for Social Security, 2012: 61.8 million (program kept 15.3 million people out of poverty)

People in the US experiencing poverty by age 65: Roughly half

Gender gap, 2012: Women 32 percent more likely to be poor than men

Gender gap, 2011: Women 34 percent more likely to be poor than men

Twice the poverty level (less than $46,042 for a family of four): 106 million people, more than 1 in 3 Americans

Jobs in the US paying less than $34,000 a year: 50 percent

Jobs in the US paying below the poverty line for a family of four, less than $23,000 annually: 25 percent

Poverty-level wages, 2011: 28 percent of workers

Percentage of individuals and family members in poverty who either worked or lived with a working family member, 2011: 57 percent

Families receiving cash assistance, 1996: 68 for every 100 families living in poverty

Families receiving cash assistance, 2011: 27 for every 100 families living in poverty

Impact of public policy, 2010: Without government assistance, poverty would have been twice as high — nearly 30 percent of population

Percentage of entitlement benefits going to elderly, disabled or working households, 2010: Over 90 percent

Number of homeless children in US public schools: 1,168,354

Annual cost of child poverty nationwide: $500 billion

Federal expenditures on home ownership mortgage deductions, 2014 estimate: $101.5 billion

Federal funding for low-income housing assistance programs, 2012: Less than $50 billion

Unless otherwise noted, all figures are based on 2012 Census Data on poverty, the most recent released.

Greg Kaufmann is a frequent contributor to BillMoyers.com. He is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, editor of TalkPoverty.org, and producer of TalkPoverty Radio on SiriusXM Insight. You can follow him on Twitter @GregKaufmann.
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