FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Poverty in the U.S. is even worse than we thought it was.
There are almost 50 million people living in poverty. That translates to 16% of all Americans.
The Census Bureau adjusted the official 2010 poverty figures up from 46.2 million, or about 15% of Americans. This new poverty rate takes into account higher costs of living.
Hispanic poverty is the highest of any group at more than 28%.
More than 25% of African-Americans are living in poverty, as well as nearly 17% of Asians and 11% of whites.
The biggest gap in poverty rates is between those who have private health insurance, and those who don't.
Meanwhile, a report by the Brookings Institution shows more than 20 million Americans - close to 7% of the population - are living in extreme poverty.
These people are living at less than half of the federal poverty line. In 2010, that meant an individual income of about $5,500 - or less.
This used to be a place where people came to escape poverty.
According to the Wall Street Journal, almost 15% of Americans are getting food stamps - that's an 8% jump in just the last year. And this number could keep climbing as families struggle under high unemployment - still at 9%.
The hardest hit states include Mississippi, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and Louisiana. In all these states, about one in five residents gets food stamps.
Here’s my question to you: Where is the U.S. headed if 16% of Americans are living in poverty?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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