READING, PA - OCTOBER 19: Men wait for groceries at the Central Park United Methodist Church weekly food pantry on October 19, 2011 in Reading, Pennsylvania. The U.S. Census says in a report released Nov. 7, 2011, that 28 percent of Latinos across the country live below the poverty line. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)2011 Getty Images
The number of Latinos in the U.S. toiling in poverty surpassed their poor black counterparts for the first time, according to the latest U.S. Census report in which poverty levels are measured by new data.
The Research Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2010 shows that of the nearly 50 million Latinos in the country, 28.2 percent are living below the poverty threshold. That’s 742,000 more than the official poverty count of 13,346,000 poor Hispanics.
The new figures suggest that there are more Latinos stuck in poverty than blacks. Of the 39 million blacks in the U.S., 25 percent are below the adjusted poverty levels.
The report makes that long-believed argument that the official poverty levels for a family of four, set in the 1960s, no long apply. The current threshold does not consider, among other factors, government policies like food stamps and payroll taxes, rises in cost of living and changes in medical costs, not to mention transportation to work and which state a person lives.
Not all groups saw increases in poverty under the new measure. For instance, children and African-Americans saw small declines in their poverty rates, mostly due to the positive effects of government aid programs including food stamps. Residents living in more rural areas as well as the Midwest and South also fared better, due to lower costs of living.
Meanwhile, there are 38 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S., according to the report. It found that 9.7 million, or 25.5 percent, were living below the adjusted poverty levels – 2.1 million more than the official count measured.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.