The new U.S. Census Bureau report, summarized here, shows that the U.S. poverty rate has risen to 15.1%, the highest since 1983. About 46.2 million people, or nearly one in six, were in poverty, compared with 43.6 million, or 14.3%, in 2009. And inflation-adjusted median household income in the U.S. fell 2.3% in 2010 from a year ago, to $49,445. Middle income households are somewhat worse off even than this, as reported earlier, because increases in healthcare expenses have wiped out virtually all nominal gains.
Addendum: The Census Bureau does not take into account “in kind” or noncash transfers like Medicaid or Food Stamps. So the poverty news is slight less grim than first appeared.