WASHINGTON – One out of every four U.S. Hispanics – 13.2 million people – is living in poverty, according to a report based on 2010 Census data that was released Tuesday.
The figure, which represents nearly 27 percent of the country’s 50.5 million Latinos, has increased from 12.3 million in 2009, as the median income of Hispanic households dropped from $38,667 in 2009 to $37,759 last year.
Race appeared to be a fundamental factor in the U.S. economic situation, with whites and Asian Americans taking home significantly more income than blacks and Hispanics, though all groups suffered a drop in income in 2010.
The median household income among non-Hispanic whites dropped from $55,360 in 2009 to $54,620 in 2010.
The definition used by the Census Bureau takes an annual income of $22,314 as the poverty threshold for a family of four and of $11,139 for a single person.
Statistics for Hispanics form part of the general panorama presented in the report “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010,” which found the overall U.S. poverty rate rising from 14.3 percent in 2009 to 15.1 percent last year.
The only aspect in which the Hispanic community shows any improvement over the 2009 figures is in medical coverage.
Hispanics without health insurance were down from 15.45 million, or 31.6 percent, in 2009 to 15.34 million, or 30.7 percent, in 2010.
Meanwhile the number of Americans in general without medical insurance went from 49 million to 49.9 million, while remaining at 16.3 percent of the total population.
Since 2007, the last year before the recession, the average total income for all households has declined 6.4 percent, while the poverty rate is up 2.6 percent.
But the total household income for the average Hispanic household has dropped 7.2 percent.
Another element brought to light by the Census Bureau, though it gave no breakdown by race, is the increase in doubled-up households, “defined as households that include at least one ‘additional’ adult: a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is not the householder, spouse or cohabiting partner of the householder.”
Such households went from 19.7 million, or 17 percent of the total, in 2007, to 21.8 million – 18.3 percent – in spring 2011, something experts have interpreted as a reflection of the difficult economic situation and an unemployment rate of 9 percent. EFEU.S. Poverty Rate Hit 15.1% in 2010