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    Poverty in the US

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    Go to the following Web site, www.census.gov, and select Poverty. Then use the information on this site to answer the following questions:

    What is the official poverty line?
    Is the number of people higher or lower than it was last year? Ten years ago? Why?
    How many states had an increase in the poverty rate compared to last year? Why did this happen?
    What new programs have been initiated to combat poverty at the state or federal levels?

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    Solution Preview

    The US government uses a set of money income thresholds and family composition to determine if a family is in poverty. If the family falls below the threshold level then every member of the family is considered to be poor. The threshold income does not change with geographical location but does change with year, as it is adjusted for consumer price inflation, that is saying you take into account higher prices as they change over time.

    The official poverty line varies according to the composition of the family. As of 2007, the last year for which data is available at www.census.gov, the official poverty line for an individual is a total money income of $10590 per year, and for a family of four it is $21203. Whether a person or family is in poverty though may vary depending on where the person/family lives. Even the US Census Bureau has the following disclaimer on the site:
    " Although the thresholds in some sense reflect families needs, they are intended for use as a statistical ...

    Solution Summary

    Describes the level and extent of poverty in the US and changes therein over the last decade.