A new Census measure shows that nearly 50 million people in the United States live below the poverty level, including nearly three in ten Latinos. The new number, released on Wednesday by the Census Bureau, is part of a new supplemental poverty measure that takes into account medical costs and work-related expenses.
From 2009 to 2011, the average official poverty rate was 15 percent. Using the supplemental measure, the poverty rate jumps to 15.8 percent. Officials estimated that about 15.1 percent of the population, or 46.6 million people, were below the poverty line in 2011. With the supplemental measure, that number jumps to 49.7 million, or 16.1 percent of the population.
About 28 percent of Latinos were categorized as poor in 2011 under the new measure, compared with 25.4 percent using the official formula. While about 14.6 percent of native-born residents were considered poor using the supplemental measure, that jumps to 25.8 percent among foreign-born residents, and a whopping 31.9 percent for non-citizens. It is 18.3 percent among naturalized citizens.