Census Surprised by Rising 'Near Poor'

One in three Americans is in poverty or just above it, according to census data to be released Monday. The new report, calculated at the request of The New York Times, accounts for people with incomes less than 50 percent above the poverty line—another 51 million people, for a total of 100 million barely scraping by or not able to at all. “These numbers are higher than we anticipated,” says the bureau's chief poverty statistician. Forty-nine percent of the near poor live in the suburbs, nearly half are non-Hispanic white, 18 percent are black, and 26 percent are Latino. Twenty-eight percent work full-time, year round.