Census finds big drops in state poverty rates

Five states saw a 3% decline over the five-year period covered in new data released Thursday.
A briefcase of a census taker is seen as she knocks on the door of a residence, Aug. 11, 2020, in Winter Park, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, file)

The number of people living in poverty in the United States declined by more than 5 million over the last five years, as pandemic-era programs helped boost millions of households above the federal poverty limit nationwide, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

The data shows poverty rates dropped by at least half a percentage point in 45 states and Washington, D.C., over the past five years. Today, 40.5 million Americans live below the poverty line, compared with 45.6 million in 2017.

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