The US Census Bureau has revealed that one in seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009 with a family of four living on less than 21,954 dollars a year.
The number of people in poverty reportedly increased by nearly 4 million to 43.6 million between 2008 and 2009.
The BBC quoted the bureau as saying that the official US poverty rate in 2009 rose to 14.3 percent from 13.2 percent in 2008. In 2009, 43.6 million Americans lived in poverty, up from 39.8 million the year before, the third consecutive increase.
Meanwhile, new figures showed home foreclosures in August hit the highest level since the mortgage crisis began.
"Banks repossessed 95,364 properties in August, up by 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009," RealtyTrac, a company which charts the national picture, said.
The bureau's report - Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the US: 2009, covers President Barack Obama's first year in office. It indicates Americans of Asian origin are the richest, while black people are the poorest.
However, in a statement, Obama said the report "illustrates just how tough 2009 was".