Social Stratification and Inequality Poverty in America A staggering number of Americans currently live below the poverty level. In order to solve the problem of the nation’s poor, we must first understand who and where they are. Who Are Poor People? About 66 percent of poor people are white, reflecting the fact that white people outnumber people of other races and ethnic groups in the United States. About 25 percent of the people living in poverty are black. The term feminization of poverty refers to the increasing number of female-headed households living at or below the poverty level. In the 1960s, approximately 25 percent of all female-headed households were in poverty; that figure is about 50 percent today. An increasing number of children are affected by this trend. As of 2005, about 16 percent of children under age 18 live in poverty; about 80 percent of them live in households headed by a single female. Where Are Poor People?
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