America's North Shore Journal

Supporting the Ninth Amendment

Poverty in America 2009 – Black Poverty

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Graph of the Black poverty rate 1990-2009

The CenĀ­sus Bureau has released its annual report titled Income, Poverty and Health InsurĀ­ance in the United States: 2009.

Poverty among blacks in America reached record lows during the Clinton Administration and remained at near record lows for most of the Bush Administration. There is a core of poverty among blacks, however, that seems impossible to reach and most of those living within that poverty core are in families headed by single mothers.

The Census Bureau estimates that there were 38.6 million blacks in the United States in 2009. 31.3 million lived in families and of that number, 13.7 million lived in families headed by a single mother. Almost 35.5% of all blacks lived in families headed by a woman with no husband present.

25.8% of all blacks lived in poverty. For those living in families, the percentage was lower, 24.4%. For those living in households headed by a woman with no husband present, 39.7% lived in poverty.

The lowest poverty rate for blacks was in 2000, at 22.5%. Black families also reached a historically low poverty rate that year at 21.2%. In the category Families with Female Householder – No Husband Present, the lowest poverty rate was in 2001, at 37.4%.

The core of black poverty in America is the 5 million plus who live in families headed by a woman. 14% of all blacks in America live in poverty in households headed by a woman.

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