Asians buck the trend as poverty rises in US

September 14th, 2011 - 1:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 14 (IANS) Asians, including Indian Americans, were the lone exception as the number of poor in US rose for the fourth consecutive year across all racial and ethnic groups last year.

According to a Census Bureau report issued Tuesday, 46.2 million Americans, nearly one in six, were living in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009, representing the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years.

In the case of Asians poverty levels remained at 12.1 percent. Poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent; among blacks it rose to 27.4 percent; among whites it climbed to 9.9 percent.

Asians again bucked the trend as median household income in the US also fell to $49,445, the lowest level since 1996 after adjusting for inflation, with a 2.3 percent drop in 2010.

Asians with a median income of $64,308 were the top earners with non-Hispanic whites following with $54,620. Hispanics with $37,759 came next while Blacks earned the least at $32,068.

The trends reflected the struggling US economy, which has seen unemployment hover at around 9 percent for two years, and which will be a key campaign issue heading into the 2012 election season.

The nation’s official poverty rate increased to 15.1 percent in 2010, up from 14.3 percent in 2009. In the last three years, the poverty rate has risen faster than any other three-year period since the early 1980s.

The report showed that a record number of women live in poverty and extreme poverty. The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years.

Income fell least for the most affluent households - down 1.2 percent to $180,810 in 2010 for the top 5 percent of households. Income declines got increasingly large down the income ladder.

The bottom fifth of households - those making $20,000 or less in 2010 - saw incomes decline 3.8 percent after inflation.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Business |