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Poverty In America Rises

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    Poverty In America Rises

    Last year, more Americans lived in poverty, more children were poor, and more people lacked health insurance than in 2002.

    That message, reported by the US Census Bureau yesterday, was expected, but the increases confirm a troubling trend for the economy and a challenge for the incumbent president in an election year.

    The numbers confirm a third straight year in which poverty rose and a gap in health coverage widened. Political analysts and partisans of both political parties rushed to put their stamp on the news...

    Still, there were some bright spots in the news, including the fact that the median household income held steady last year, at $43,318, after two years of decline. The percentage of children without health insurance also stayed unchanged - striking given that there was a large rise in child poverty. One factor: More children are being covered by Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

    And the picture on income inequality - whether the gap is growing between rich and poor in America - was a mixed one. The primary way of calculating that inequality showed no change, but the income for the poorest Americans - those in the bottom 20 percent - went down, while the income for the wealthiest fifth of Americans went up...
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