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Wed Jan 11, 2012, 01:49 PM

Poverty in America likely to get worse, report finds

Poverty in America likely to get worse, report finds
Indiana University study says 46 million Americans are living below the poverty line up 27% since start of recession
Chris McGreal
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 11 January 2012 11.12 EST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jan/11/poverty-america-likely-worse-report?newsfeed=true

Millions of Americans will be forced into poverty in the coming years even as the US hauls itself out of the longest and deepest recession since the second world war.

A study from Indiana University, released on Wednesday, says the number of Americans living below the poverty line surged by 27% since the beginning of what it calls the "Great Recession" in 2006, driving 10 million more people into poverty.

The report warns that the numbers will continue to rise, because although the recession is technically over, its continued impact on cuts to welfare budgets and the quality of new, often poorly paid, jobs can be expected to force many more people in to poverty. It is also difficult for those already under water to get back up again.

"Poverty in America is remarkably widespread," concludes the study, At Risk: America's Poor During and After the Great Recession. "The number of people living in poverty is increasing and is expected to increase further, despite the recovery."

The white paper, drafted by the university's school of public and environmental affairs, which is among the best ranked schools of its kind in the US, says that six years ago, 36.5 million Americans fell below the poverty line. By 2010, the number of people living in poverty rose to 46.2 million and continued to grow over the past year.

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