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Poverty Rates in the U.S. Dropped Last Year Due to Pandemic Relief Aid

Despite the havoc it created across the United States and the world, there is one more benefit that the Corona pandemic brought to the country. The U.S. Census reported on Tuesday that throughout the entire pandemic, the poverty rate declined in 2020 due to the stimulus checks from the government. For a family of four, the poverty threshold is set at $26,200 a year.

Even though the poverty rate rose in 2020 to 11.4 percent from the record low of 10.5 percent in 2019, that number reflects cash payments to Americans from the government. Once the Census included the rest of the aid, the previous percent of 11.4 dropped to the new record of 9.1 percent.

Last year, the $1,200 stimulus checks distributed by the government raised 11.7 million people out of poverty, and the enhanced unemployment checks saved 5.5 million people from falling below the poverty line.

The Census also reported that for the Hispanic and non-Hispanic white population, the poverty rate rose in 2020 to 17 and 8.2 percent, respectively. The poverty rate within the Black community did not decrease or increase from 2019 to 2020, but they still have the highest rate at 19.5 percent.

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