Friday, August 31, 2007

The Truth about America's Poor

The media which was so hungry for poverty stories when it was all about Katrina and New Orleans, seems to have completely ignored reports that for the past two years the rate of poverty has declined. Since 2005, the poverty rate went down 12.5%.

But what is more important is what poor means. Here are just a few facts about America's poor:
  • 46 percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • 80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • The typical poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
  • 97 percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • 78 percent have a VCR or DVD player.