15 Facts About US Poverty the Government Hides

On Tuesday, the Census Bureau released its annual poverty report declaring that 43.1 million Americans lived in poverty in 2015.

We should be concerned about any American living in real material hardship, but much of what the Census reports about poverty is misleading.

Here are 15 facts about poverty in America that may surprise you.  (All statistics are taken from U.S. government surveys.)

  • Poor households routinely report spending $2.40 for every $1 of income the Census says they have.

  • The average poor American lives in a house or apartment that is in good repair and has more living space than the average nonpoor person in France, Germany, or England.

  • Eighty-five percent of poor households have air conditioning.

  • Nearly three-fourths of poor households have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.

  • Nearly two-thirds of poor households have cable or satellite TV.

  • Half have a personal computer; 43 percent have internet access.

  • Two-thirds have at least one DVD player

  • More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

  • One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.


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