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Blacks Much More Likely to be Poor (and Stay Poor) than Whites

A striking reminder of the link between race and poverty in America

New data from the Census Bureau confirms a key fact about poverty in America: many people duck in and out of it. In 2012, 23.1 percent of all Americans were in poverty for two or more months — what the Census Bureau calls "episodic poverty" — but only 8.4 percent were in poverty for all 12 of those months. These numbers vary hugely by race. For example, more than one in three Hispanics or Blacks spent two or more months below the poverty line in 2012 — but fewer than 1 in 5 Whites or Asians did.


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