Record 1 in 6 Americans living in poverty: New census says the number of poor people in the U.S. is 3 million higher than the official count
Posted 11/7/2013 12:18:00 PM

The number of poor people in America is 3  million higher than the official count, encompassing 1 in 6 residents due to  out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses, according to a revised  census measure released Wednesday.

The new measure is aimed at providing a  fuller picture of poverty, but does not replace the official government numbers.

Put in place two years ago by the Obama  administration, it generally is considered more reliable by social scientists  because it factors in living expenses as well as the effects of government aid,  such as food stamps and tax credits.

Administration officials have declined to say  whether the new measure eventually could replace the official poverty formula,  which is used to allocate federal dollars to states and localities and to  determine eligibility for safety-net programs, such as Medicaid.

Congress would have to agree to adopt the new  measure, which generally would result in a higher poverty rate from year to year  and thus higher government payouts for aid programs.

Based on the revised formula, the number of  poor people in 2012 was 49.7 million, or 16 percent.

That exceeds the record 46.5 million, or 15  percent, that was officially reported in September.

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Posted By: Producer Thomas  
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