Poverty rate at highest levels since 1994

two cents - as in, not even to rub together - poverty report
two cents - as in, not even to rub together - poverty report

Poverty numbers were just released in a new Census report, and they aren't pretty. They probably also aren't very surprising, given the state of the economy these last few years. The bottom line is, poverty is up.

In fact, it's up for just about everyone, although the Asian ethnic group's poverty rate was largely spared, reports The Washington Post. Every other race saw their poverty rate as a group climb. It's the highest rate of poverty since 1994, but as a country, it's 8.1% lower than in 1959, when government records on American poverty were first kept.

So what does the rise of poverty mean? I'm not sure anyone can make sense of this, frankly, but let's give it a shot.

Translating the numbers. Since we're in the middle of 2010, these latest numbers actually represent what was going on in 2009, so things could be slightly better now -- or slightly worse. As it stands, what we know, is that last year, 14.3% of Americans were considered impoverished. That's one out of every seven Americans, or 43.6 million people.