While Latinos are gaining in political clout, they are also falling down the economic ladder, new Census numbers show.
Latinos poverty rates increased to 28 percent recently after the United States Census Bureau reworked its poverty assessment formulas to include medical costs and government programs such as food stamps and housing.
Census calculations found that:
- without Social Security payments, the poverty rate for Latinos would rise to 54.1 percent for people 65 and older and 24.4 percent for all age groups;
- without refundable tax credits such as the earned income tax credit, child poverty would increase from 18.1 percent to 24.4 percent, and, without food stamps, the overall poverty rate for Latinos would increase from 16.1 percent to 17.6 percent, according to a recent Fox News Latino article.
- Latinos and Asians saw much higher rates of poverty, 28 percent and 16.9 percent, respectively, compared with rates of 25.4 percent and 12.3 percent under the recent formula. African-Americans saw a small decrease in poverty, from 27.8 percent under the official rate to 25.7 percent based on the revised numbers. Among whites, poverty rose from 9.9 percent to 11 percent.
- America’s total number of poor people increased in 2011 to 49.7 million. Latinos and urbanites were more likely to be struggling economically under the alternative formula due to medical expenses, higher living costs of living and limited immigrant access to government programs. Poverty among full-time and part-time workers also increased last year.
- Working-age adults ages 18-64 saw an increase in poverty from 13.7 percent to 15.5 percent, due mostly to commuting and child care costs. The new formula showed decreases in overall child poverty, from 22.3 percent under the official formula to 18.1 percent. Children remained the group most likely to be economically struggling by any measure.