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Poverty Levels Stabilize; a First in 5 Years

For the first time in five years, the poverty rate in the United States did not increase, according to new numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The national poverty level remained steady at 12.6 percent.

The latest figures, which follow four years of economic growth, represent about 37 million people living in poverty, the Census Bureau says.

And while the poverty rate didn't grow, some economists say that, given the country's overall economic good health, the numbers are nothing to celebrate.

The poverty numbers did go down a bit -- by about 90,000 people. But the Census Bureau says the decline isn't statistically significant. Household income, on the other hand, went up to a median of $46,326 a year.

The new report also shows that poverty rates continue to be highest among non-whites. And the poverty rate among children remains higher than for 18- to 64-year-olds.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.