The Atlantic

New Census Data Shows More Americans Emerging From Poverty

But it also lays bare the geographic and economic divisions growing in America.
Source: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

Eight years after the end of the Great Recession, more of America’s poorest families are beginning to emerge from poverty, suggesting that the effects of a booming job market and an expanded safety net may finally be helping the country’s most vulnerable residents. Census data released today show that the number of people living in poverty has finally returned to pre-recession levels, with poverty declining for all ethnic groups.

This doesn’t mean poverty is anywhere near disappearing in America: There were still 40.6 million people in poverty last year, and the poverty rate was 12.7 percent, down from 13.5 percent in 2015. And in some cases, people are still doing worse than before the recession; the average income of people in the lowest 20 percent of households remains down from what it was a decade ago.

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