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Regional & National

Revised government formula shows new poverty high: 49.1 million

November 7th, 2011 9:43 am by HOPE YEN

WASHINGTON (AP) — New census estimates show the number of Americans living in poverty is higher than previously known — reaching a new level of 49.1 million, or 16 percent.


The numbers released Monday are a new supplemental poverty measure aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty of America. They are higher than the official 2010 poverty rate of 15.1 percent, or a record 46.2 million, that was reported in September.


Much of the increase in the new measure comes from rising everyday costs, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, that aren't factored into the official rate. Americans 65 or older had the biggest poverty jump — 15.9 percent, versus 9 percent under the official formula.


For Hispanics, poverty rose to 28.2 percent, surpassing that of blacks for the first time.

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