More Oregonians live in poverty

Portland Business Journal
September 22, 2011

by Andy Giegerich

A new U.S. Census Bureau report reveals that nearly 600,000 Oregon residents lived in poverty during 2010.

The figure, which comprises 15.8 percent of Oregon’s residents, marks an increase of nearly 20 percent since 2007.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey data, released Thursday, also revealed that 7.8 percent of the state’s households earn less than $10,000 in income and benefits. Another 8.4 percent of all families live in households that collect less than $15,000.

At the same time, nearly 22 percent of all Oregon children live at or below poverty levels, the survey reported.

“A concerted effort to reduce poverty is essential not only to ease the suffering of children, but also to create a brighter future for our state,” said Janet Bauer, a policy analyst for Silverton-based think tank the Oregon Center for Public Policy. “Research shows that economic hardship early in life lays the groundwork for more costly social problems down the road.”

The survey reported on four measures — economic, social, housing and general demographics — for all 50 states.

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