One in eight Coloradans living in poverty, according to census

Poverty has increased substantially in Colorado and across the country, according to preliminary state Census Bureau figures released today. Roughly one in every eight Coloradans was living in poverty in 2009 and 2010, including 192,000 Coloradans who fell into poverty since 2000.

Colorado’s poverty rate hit 12.3 percent in 2009-10.

An estimated 617,000 Coloradans live in families with incomes less than the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s $22,350 this year; for a single person, it’s annual income of less than $10,890.

From a press release issued by the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute:

Colorado’s budget enacted earlier this year contained deep cuts to education, health care and other services that support struggling families as well as the investments that are the foundations of the state’s ability to create jobs and promote prosperity over the long term. Policymakers will continue to face tough decisions about how to fill budget shortfalls, even if voters in the November election approve Proposition 103, a measure that would increase revenue to stop irresponsible cuts to education. Taking a balanced approach that includes revenue instead of a cuts-only approach will be crucial to keeping more families from falling through the cracks as well as maintaining education, health, public safety and other services that are so crucial to Colorado’s future.

“We need to step up our efforts to help Coloradans weather the recession – not make it harder. Our state needs to take a balanced approach to budgeting that includes revenues. Not only will that help struggling Coloradans, but it will improve our economy in the long run,” said Christine Murphy, executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, the parent organization of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute.

The Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute issued a fact sheet today analyzing some of the significant figures for Colorado.

Nationally, women have been especially hard hit by the economic climate. In Colorado, childhood poverty is also on the rise, with more and more kids going hungry.

Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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