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Home >> China
UPDATED: 13:26, March 03, 2005
Poverty, hunger, homelessness haunt US: China's report
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Poverty, hunger and homelessness have been haunting the United States, the world richest country, according to the Human Rights Record of the United States in 2004.

The report, released by the Information Office of China's State Council on Thursday, said the United States refuses to ratify the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and took negative attitude to the economic, social and cultural rights of the laborers.

According to the statistics released by the US Census Bureau in 2004, the number of Americans in poverty has been climbing for three years. It rose by 1.3 million year-on-year in 2003 to 35.9 million, the report said.

The poverty rate in 2003 hit 12.5 percent, or one in eight people, the highest since 1998, it added.

In Washington D.C., the top 20 percent of the city's households have 31 times the average income of the 20 percent at the bottom, the report cited The Washington Post, (July 22, 2004).

Since Nov. 2003, the average income of most American families have been on the decline. The earning of many medium and low-income families could not keep up with the price rises, it said.

The health insurance crisis has become prominent, the report said, around 14.3 million Americans put one fourth of their income on the health expenses, according to a news story of the Washington Post on Sept. 28, 2004.

Many families could not afford the health insurance. Fewer workers have coverage - 61 percent in 2004, compared with 65 percent in 2001, it said.

The report said, compared with 2003 the number of people without health insurance increased 1.4 million to 45 million, or 15.6 percent of the country's population.

In Texas, about one fourth of the workers don't have health insurance. In California, around 6 million Californians don't have health insurance and the welfare system with the annual cost of 60 billion US dollars are about to collapse, it added.

Meanwhile, medical accidents occurred one after another, becoming the third killer following heart disease and cancer, it said. One out of every 25 in-patients become the victim of medical accident, according to a report of Boston Globe on July 27, 2004.

It is estimated that the homeless population reached 3.5 million in the United States, according to the report, which said the homeless population in the country continues to rise nationwide.

The number of people seeking emergency food aid increased by 14 percent year-on-year while the number of people seeking emergency shelter aid increased by 6 percent, as an annual survey released at the US Conference of Mayors has showed, the report said.

But the US Federal budget has stopped providing fund to build new affordable housing, which forced many local governments to cut the public housing projects, it said.

The report said an investigator with the US Commission on Human Right in January 2004 denounced the US for large-scale infringement on human rights on housing issue.


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