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Over 42 million Americans live in poverty

(Xinhua)

10:44, September 13, 2012

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Census Bureau on Wednesday announced that about 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty last year, accounting for 15 percent of the population and including 21.9 percent of children under age 18.

According to census figures released on Wednesday, the country' s poverty rate was not statistically different from that in the previous year, stopping a post-recession climb. Contributing to this change in trajectory is a 17.3-percent increase in full-time, year-round employment among workers in the lowest income quintile.

Reid Cramer, director of the Asset Building Program at the New America Foundation, said in a statement that although the number of people living in poverty ended its post-recession climb, "we're still stalled at a historic and unacceptable level."

"The new data offers another indication of just how pervasive economic hardship has become," said Cramer, adding that it also " underscores the importance of maintaining a strong and viable social safety net."

Census figures also showed that real median household income in 2011 was 50,054 dollars, a 1.5-percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop.

The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 50 million in 2010 to 48.6 million in 2011, as did the percentage without coverage -- from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.

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