National Poverty Center | University of Michigan
Poverty Thresholds 2009 - U.S Census Bureau
It's about 12.5-13% working age Americans (18-64) under the poverty line and about 15-16% of the general population. The thresholds are different when you're retired or before you have a family and depending on the size of your family, that's the way every country measures poverty.
Well, we do have by far the highest incarceration rates in the world (many more people in the correctional system than China despite our population being much lower), but unemployment stats don't include those 2.3 million imprisoned nor do poverty stats, though do you all really see a huge difference between 45 and 43 million? As for the other 5 million Americans who are either on parole or probation, I assume that they count. Granted, the poverty numbers would certainly look cleaner if we only ran them for white people not dumb enough to have six kids in a broken home. In what world would we not include children in poverty numbers? Impoverished children seems like a bigger, not lesser problem than impoverished adults in many cases. Considering about half the world lives on $2.50 per day, the United States poverty numbers (13-17% living below federal poverty line at any given point in time) don't look so bad. Where we rank very poorly is in relative poverty (how income relates to median income) among other industrialized nations. Currently, the number of Americans in poverty is increasing to record levels with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels which back then led to the national war on poverty. I don't see another of those happening anytime soon.