Learn About Poverty in the United States
10 Ways To Address Poverty in America
Reach out to those living in poverty in your community by participating in parish and community activities and service.
Identify existing resources or groups working on your issue in your community.
Share what you have learned with others in your community and encourage them to take action too.
National Poverty Facts
What Poverty Looks Like in the United States
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, out of 325.7 million people, 39.7 million people lived in poverty in the United States. That means the poverty rate for 2017 was 12.3%. This number is determined by the federal Government’s official poverty threshold, which in 2017 for a family of four is about $24,600.
In 2017, the median income for family households was $77,713, while the median income for nonfamily households was $36,650.
Source: US Census Bureau; Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017
In 2017, 17.5% of all children (12.8 million) lived in poverty.
That means nearly 1 in 5 children live in poverty.
Though the official census data gives seniors a 2017 poverty rate of only 9.2%, the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for expenses such as the rising costs of health care, raises the senior poverty rate to 14.1%.
The United States Department of Agriculture estimated that 11.8% of US households were food insecure in 2017. This means that approximately 15 million households had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in 2017, 553,742 people in the United States were homeless and 25% of the entire group were children. 83,170 individuals or 15% of the homeless population are chronically homeless, which means they often have a disability and have experienced homelessness for a year or longer.