Economy

US poverty rate rises to 11.4% in 2020 due to COVID-19

37.2M people in poverty last year, up 3.3M from 2019 when rate stood at lowest since 1959

Ovunc Kutlu   | 14.09.2021
US poverty rate rises to 11.4% in 2020 due to COVID-19 FILE PHOTO

ANKARA

The poverty rate in the US increased to 11.4% last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Census Bureau on Tuesday.

In 2020, there were 37.2 million people in poverty, approximately 3.3 million, or 1%, more than in 2019 when the poverty rate had stood at 10.5% -- the lowest since records started in 1959.

The latest figure also marks the first increase in poverty after five consecutive annual declines, the Census Bureau said.

Median household income stood at $67,521 in 2020, a decline of 2.9% from the previous year's $69,560, it said, adding "This is the first statistically significant decline in median household income since 2011."

"Between 2019 and 2020, the real median earnings of all workers decreased by 1.2% ... total number of people with earnings decreased by about 3 million, while the number of full-time, year-round workers decreased by approximately 13.7 million," it said.

Due to COVID-19, more than 22 million people in the US, which had a population of over 328 million in 2019, lost their jobs in March and April 2020.

The world's largest economy had 8.4 million unemployed individuals as of this August, according to the latest figures by the US Labor Department.

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