Historic Poverty Trends:
Poverty Rates & Number of Persons
Living Below The Poverty Line
for All Persons

United States

Year = 1959 -- 2010

 

  Poverty Poverty 
  Rate Population
1959 22.4 39.4
1960 22.2 39.8
1961 21.9 39.6
1962 21.0 38.6
1963 19.5 36.4
1964 19.0 36.0
1965 17.3 33.1
1966 14.7 28.5
1967 14.2 27.7
1968 12.8 25.3
1969 12.1 24.1
1970 12.6 25.4
1971 12.5 25.5
1972 11.9 24.4
1973 11.1 22.9
1974 11.2 23.3
1975 12.3 25.8
1976 11.8 24.9
1977 11.6 24.7
1978 11.4 24.4
1979 11.7 26.0
1980 13.0 29.2
1981 14.0 31.8
1982 15.0 34.3
1983 15.2 35.3
1984 14.4 33.7
1985 14.0 33.0
1986 13.6 32.3
1987 13.4 32.2
1988 13.0 31.7
1989 12.8 31.5
1990 13.5 33.5
1991 14.2 35.7
1992 14.8 38.0
1993 15.1 39.2
1994 14.5 38.0
1995 13.8 36.4
1996 13.7 36.5
1997 13.3 35.5
1998 12.7 34.4
1999 11.9 32.7
2000 11.3 31.5
2001 11.7 32.9
2002 12.1 34.5
2003 12.5 35.8
2004 12.7 37.0
2005 12.6 36.9
2006 12.3 36.4
2007 12.5 37.2
2008 13.2 39.8
2009 14.3 43.5
2010 15.1 46.1

Chart & Data Compiled by Russ Long (June 10, 2012)

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements. http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/historical/people.html  Table 2