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Spotlight: National poverty rate returns to pre-recession level

After two successive annual declines, the official U.S. poverty rate was 12.7 percent in 2016 and statistically identical to the 12.5 percent rate of 2007—the year before the start of the so-called Great Recession—according to U.S. Census figures released Sept. 12. Recent three-year state averages ranged from a high of 20.8 percent in Mississippi to a low of 6.9 percent for New Hampshire. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2016, based on information collected in the Current Population Survey, estimates that 40.6 million Americans lived in poverty last year—some 6 million fewer than in 2014.

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