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How Many People in the US Live Below the Poverty Level?

About 12% of the United States population, or 36,460,000 people, live below the poverty level. Poverty not only indicates a lack of monetary funds, but also a lack of basic needs, which may include such things as clean water, shelter and food. Though the figure changes annually and varies by state, the poverty threshold in the US in 2009 was about $11,000 US Dollars (USD).

More poverty facts:

  • Almost 50% of the world's population live on $2.50 USD or less per day.

  • The country with the fewest people living under the poverty level is Taiwan. Just under 1% of Taiwan's population lives below the poverty level.

  • About 24,000 of the world's children, 5 years old and younger, die each day due to poverty-related issues.

  • Zambia has the most people living in poverty: 86% of the population lives below the poverty level.

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More Info: US Department of Health and Human Services; Global Issues; UNICEF

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