The Daily Scoop: Inequality in 2012 by the Numbers


Martin Luther King Jr. was an outspoken advocate for the poor and less fortunate. At the time of his death, he was organizing a cross-racial Poor People’s Campaign that raised many issues still important today. Many Americans—particularly communities of color and young people—continue to lack access to economic opportunities and this must be addressed if we are to truly carry on Dr. King’s work.

This by-the-numbers piece takes a look at how many Americans are still struggling to find a way out of poverty, find employment, and gain both health care and education not only for themselves but for their families.

  • 46.2 million: The number of Americans in poverty in 2010.
  • 76.7 million: Number of people in families who were living below $44,000 for a family of four (two times the federal poverty line).
  • 39.1: Percentage of African American children less than 18 years old in poverty.
  • 12.4: Percentage of white children less than 18 years old in poverty.
  • 13.1 million: Total number of unemployed Americans.
  • 42.5: Percentage of people unemployed for at least 27 weeks in December of 2011.
  • 49.1 million people under 65 didn’t have insurance in 2010.
  • 41: Percentage of those under 65 in poverty without insurance.
  • 32 million: Number of people who will gain insurance under the Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
  • 66 million: Number of people who could be insured under Medicaid by 2019. Under the Affordable Care Act, it’s anticipated that Medicaid will expand in 2014.

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2 Comments to “The Daily Scoop: Inequality in 2012 by the Numbers”

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. said:
    “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

    It is the responsibility of the downtrodden to pull themselves up by their bootstraps to forge a better life for themselves.

    It is the responsibility of everyone else to assist, not give.

    Only then will true equity be achieved.

    • True but there is a trend these days by many to place the blame on the unemployed for not being able to get ahead and return to work. Blame placed on the poor or those who can’t afford health insurance for their own problems when a lot of it is a on a system that tends to keep opportunities out of reach. The majority of the poorer people in this country do not fit into the stereotype politicians like Newt Gingrich prefer to characterize them, as unwilling to work or people with poor work ethics with a preference for foodstamps over paychecks.

      The real issue here is the wealth inequality gap which has increase since the 1970’s with a very few on the very top and the rest racing towards the bottom. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/12/income-inequality-rising-faster-in-us-than-other-developed-countries.html
      This isn’t a result of people not trying it’s a system-wide issue that few if any individuals can break through on their own. It’s going to take reforms to the system as a whole.

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