The press is making much of the actual numbers of Americans in poverty. Remember, however, that with a growing population, the numbers will increase even if the rate stays the same. Every person living in poverty matters, but it is the increase or decrease in the rate that will describe most accurately what the economy is doing.
46,180,000 Americans are believed to live in poverty according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Just over 33 million live in families and about 12.4 million are unrelated individuals. 15,895,000 Americans live in poverty in homes headed by a female with no husband present.