What is the extent of poverty in the United States?  Who are the poor in terms of age, race, ethnicity and gender?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poverty rate in the United States today is roughly 13%.  This means that roughly 40 million Americans live in poverty.

To give you some idea as to what poverty means, a family of two parents and two kids is in poverty if it makes less than about $22,000 per year.   So the poverty line is pretty low.

For non-Hispanic whites, the percent in poverty was a bit under 9.  About 13% of Asians were in poverty, 23% of Hispanics and 24% of African Americans were poor.  All of these numbers are for 2008, the last year for which data are available.

28% of households with a woman and no husband are in poverty, 13% of those with a man and no wife.  5% of married couple households are in poverty.

The link below will at least give you information for age as well.