Updated September 13, 2021 | Infoplease Staff

Below is an overview of the number and rate of people who were living in poverty in the United States in 2007. The figures, which are broken down by age, race, family type, region, and nativity, are the most recent available and are compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.


The poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5%, not statistically different from 2006. Some 37.3 million people were poor in 2007— up from about 36.5 million in 2006.

For people 65 and older and those 18 to 64, the poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 9.7% and 10.9%, respectively. For children younger than 18, the poverty rate increased from 17.4% in 2006 to 18.0% in 2007. The number of people in poverty increased for seniors 65 and older — from 3.4 million in 2006 to 3.6 million in 2007. For children younger than 18, the number in poverty climbed as well, from 12.8 million in 2006 to 13.3 million in 2007. For those 18 to 64, however, the number in poverty remained statistically unchanged, at 20.4 million in 2007.

For Hispanics, 21.5% were in poverty in 2007, up from 20.6% in 2006. Poverty rates remained statistically unchanged for non-Hispanic whites (8.2%), blacks (24.5%) and Asians (10.2%) in 2007.

In 2007, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8% and 7.6 million, respectively, both statistically unchanged from 2006. Furthermore, the poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no statistical change between 2006 and 2007 for the different types of families. Married-couple families had a poverty rate of 4.9% (2.8 million), compared with 28.3% (4.1 million) for female-householder, no-husband-present families, and 13.6% (696,000) for those with a male householder and no wife present.

The number in poverty in the South increased to 15.5 million in 2007, up from 14.9 million in 2006, while the poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 14.2% in 2007. In 2007, the poverty rates for the Northeast (11.4%), the Midwest (11.1%) and the West (12.0%) were all statistically unchanged from 2006. The poverty rate for the Northeast was not statistically different from that of the Midwest or West.

Among the native-born population, 11.9%, or 31.1 million, were in poverty in 2007. Both the poverty rate and number in poverty were statistically unchanged from 2006. Among the foreign-born population, the poverty rate and the number in poverty increased to 16.5% and 6.2 million, respectively, in 2007, from 15.2% and 5.7 million, respectively, in 2006. An increase in poverty for U.S. noncitizens (from 19.0% in 2006 to 21.3% in 2007) accounted for the rise in poverty for the foreign-born population overall.



Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Aug. 2008 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). Web: www.census.gov.



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