Poverty rates are important indicators of community well-being and are used by government agencies and organizations to allocate need-based resources. The American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data allow for the analysis of poverty rates by race and Hispanic origin for many levels of geography.
In this report, poverty rates are summarized by race and Hispanic origin for the United States, each state, and the District of Columbia.
Poverty rates are also presented for selected detailed race and origin groups in the cities and towns with the largest populations of these groups. For the nation and selected places, poverty rates are summarized for detailed Asian groups with populations of 750,000 or more, detailed Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander groups with populations of 25,000 or more, and detailed Hispanic groups with populations of 1 million or more.
• According to the 2007–2011 ACS, 42.7 million people or 14.3 percent of the U.S. population had income below the poverty level.
• By race, the highest national poverty rates were for American Indians and Alaska Natives (27.0 percent) and Blacks or African Americans (25.8 percent).
• Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders had a national poverty rate of 17.6 percent.
• For the Asian population, poverty rates were higher for Vietnamese (14.7 percent) and Koreans (15.0 percent), and
lower for Filipinos (5.8 percent).
• Among Hispanics, national poverty rates ranged from a low of 16.2 percent for Cubans to a high of 26.3 percent for Dominicans.
• Nine states had poverty rates of about 30 percent or more for American Indians and Alaska Natives (Arizona, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah).
• For Asians, nine states had poverty rates of about 10 percent or less (Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina).
• The 2007–2011 national poverty rate for Whites was 11.6 percent, and most states (43) as well as the District of Columbia had poverty rates lower than 14.0 percent for this group.
The estimates contained in this report are based on the 2007–2011 ACS. The ACS is conducted every month with income data collected for the 12 months preceding the interview. The 5-year estimates are period estimates. They represent the characteristics of the population and housing over the specific data collection period.
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