FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Stable poverty is not good enough says Community Action
Poverty rate unimproved and median household income declines
SAINT PAUL, Minn.
A stabilized poverty rate is not enough to improve the life for most Americans.T
hat’s the message Community Action Partnersh
ip of Ramsey & Washington Counties wants people toknow regarding the poverty figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 12, 2012.
For 2011, the Bureau’s report indicates
real median household income in the U.S. declined 1.5 percentversus 2010 and the poverty rate (15.0 percent) remained statistically unchanged. While the number of people in 2011 without health insurance decreased to 15.7 percent, down from 16.3 percent during2010, that still means almost 16 people in every 100 are without healthcare.Responding to the report, Clarence Hightower, executive director of Community Action states,
“Although the poverty rate is relatively u
nchanged and the total number of people receiving healthcoverage has increased slightly, it is not enough. Real household income continues to decline and thereare still more than 46 million Americans living in poverty and nearly 49 million people without health
The report also illustrates continuing disparities among people of color, including the fact that morethan 1 in 4 Blacks and approximately 1 in 4 Hispanics (of any race) live below the poverty line.Meanwhile, fewer than 1 in 10 White (non-
Hispanic) people live in poverty. “The racial disparities of
income, education and place in the United States have already damaged our society and will only do
more damage if we don’t change it. That’s
why Community Action is sponsoring projects likeOpportunity St. Paul, which engages low-income people in creating solutions, and Kitchen TableConversations which brings critical
racial equity questions to the forefront,” says Hightower.
In Minnesota, the total poverty rate in 2011 dropped to 10.0 percent, down from 10.8 percent in 2010and 11.1 percent in 2009. However, the state poverty rate still remains above the 9.9 percent rate from2008 in the midst of the most recent recession.
Minnesota’s 2011 median income is up again after
having dropped in 2010, while the percentage of Minnesotans receiving health insurance coverage rose0.5 percent in 2011. Still in 2011, there were approximately 487,000 residents of Minnesota withouthealth insurance, the second highest total in the history of the state after 2010 (508,000 people). Moredetailed data concerning individual states and counties is expected to be released next week.