Poverty in America

Associated Press
In this Sept. 15, 2011 photo, Bill Ricker, 74, looks out the screen door of his trailer home on a rainy day in Hartford, Maine. Ricker, who has two college degrees, has worked as an electronics repairman, a pastor and a TV cameraman. He and his first wife had seven children. Now he receives food stamps and heating fuel assistance and gets donations from a local food pantry. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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New Census Bureau data shows nearly 16 percent of Americans live below the poverty line— a record 49.1 million people. Though the labor market has struggled to gain traction in recent months, the ranks of America's poor continue to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s.

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