More than one in seven people live below the poverty line

More than 46 million Americans citizens are impoverished

Over the past 40 years the number of people living in high-poverty urban areas has doubled from 20 million to 40 million. The number of high poverty has tripled from 1,100 to 3,300. A 2010 study showed that 30 or more percent of people living in large metropolitan areas lives below the poverty line. In 2013 4.2 million seniors were impoverished, 14.7 million children were impoverished, and 26.4 million adults were impoverished.
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Why are we having trouble fighting poverty?

"The first thing needed if we’re to get people out of poverty is more jobs that pay decent wages. There aren’t enough of these in our current economy. The need for good jobs extends far beyond the current crisis; we’ll need a full-employment policy and a bigger investment in 21st-century education and skill development strategies if we’re to have any hope of breaking out of the current economic malaise.

This isn’t a problem specific to the current moment. We’ve been drowning in a flood of low-wage jobs for the last 40 years. Most of the income of people in poverty comes from work. According to the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, 104 million people — a third of the population — have annual incomes below twice the poverty line..."

-New York Times