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Equality
Economics

US Poverty Rate Rises for Second Year While Incomes Are Little Changed

  • Almost 4 million more people in poverty compared with 2019
  • Data are for first full year of President Joe Biden’s term
Volunteers bag groceries at a Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens pop-up food pantry in Brooklyn, New York, on May 29, 2020.
Volunteers bag groceries at a Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens pop-up food pantry in Brooklyn, New York, on May 29, 2020.Photographer: Demetrius Freeman/Bloomberg
Updated on

The US poverty rate climbed for a second straight year in 2021 and household income slipped slightly as the economy slowly started a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The poverty rate rose to 11.6% from 11.5% in the prior year, annual data released Tuesday by the US Census Bureau showed. It reached the lowest in six decades in 2019. Last year, 37.9 million people were in poverty, about 3.9 million more than 2019. The US poverty rate has been roughly cut in half over the past 60 years.