More Americans were living in poverty in 2010 than at any time since at least the 1950s, with the overall poverty rate climbing to 15.1 - a 6 percent jump in just one year, Census figures have revealed.
The Census Bureau's annual report showed nearly 1-in-6 people in poverty, reflecting sustained long-term unemployment and the failure of the U.S. economy to fully recover following the recession, Fox News reports.
The number of uninsured also surged up to 49.9 million, the highest in over two decades.
The figures cover 2010, and the jobless rate has not ticked down much since then. The unemployment rate stood at 9.1 percent in August. The report comes as President Barack Obama tries anew to push legislation aimed at spurring job growth while providing government aid to those out of work.
According to the report, the number of people in poverty last year was 46.2 million, the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, the report said.
Based on percentages, it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since 1983. Reflecting the lingering impact of the recession, the U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.
Reports suggest that the situation has hit black populations the hardest, with their poverty rate rising from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent. Child poverty rose from 20.7 percent to 22 percent.