The number of Americans below poverty level has hit a new record, making up about 20.5 million people, the Associated Press reports.
Defined as individuals living at 50 percent or less of the official poverty level, 6.7 percent of the U.S. population – or one in 15 people – are considered to be the poorest of the poor. That’s the highest in the 35 years since the Census Bureau has tracked those figures, the wire said. Previous highs were in 2009 and 1993, when the poorest of the poor made up just over 6 percent of the U.S. population.
Neighborhoods in which at least 4 out of 10 people are living in poverty have stretched over broader areas and have increased in suburbs twice as fast as in cities, according to the AP.