(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Nearly one in six Hoosiers lived in poverty during 2010 and many of them were children.
The U.S. Census Bureau’s “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage” report released Tuesday said 16.2 percent, or 1.4 million, Indiana residents last year lived below the poverty level for their household size - the highest rate in nearly 30 years.
“Indiana is considered to be faring the recession better than our neighboring states due to our ability to amass a state surplus, however, these new poverty numbers show this is not the case. Indiana’s poverty rate is higher than those of our neighboring states and more Hoosiers are struggling to support their families and make ends meet,” said Lisa Travis, Program Manager with the Indiana Institute for Working Families.
The poverty line for a family of four, as defined by the federal government, is annual income of $22,314 for a family of four and $11,139 for an individual.
Up significantly from two years ago when it was 13.1 percent, poverty in the state grew at the sixth fastest rate among all states. Last year’s Indiana poverty rate was higher than the national rate of 15.1 percent and the Midwest states average of 13.9 percent.
The report also showed 26.3 percent of Hoosier children were living in poverty, above the 22 percent national average.
The number of Indiana residents in poverty has more than doubled from ten years earlier when the rate was 7.7 percent in 2000.
Indiana's poverty rate has increased five straight years to make it the 15th highest in the nation, tied with California and Oklahoma.
Kentucky was the only adjacent state with a higher poverty rate than Indiana at 17.4 percent. Ohio was at 14.3 percent last year.
You can find the full report from the U.S. Census Bureau at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb11-157.html.