One in seven Americans was living in poverty in 2009 with the level of working-age poor the highest since the 1960s, the US Census Bureau says.BBC via Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009
The number of people in poverty increased by nearly 4m - to 43.6m - between 2008 and 2009, officials said.
The bureau defines poverty as any family of four living on less than $21,954 a year.
The number of people in poverty in 2009 was the largest in the 51 years for which the US government has been publishing estimates.
The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 15.4% to 16.7% - or 50.7 million people - mostly because of the loss of employer-provided schemes during the recession.