According to an article in the Star-Telegram, the nation's wealth real median income fell by 3.6 percent from $52,163 in 2007 to $50,303 in 2008, the worst decline since the Census Bureau began collecting the data during World War II.
The article said:
"The national poverty rate also hit its highest level since 1997, jumping to 13.2 percent in 2008 from 12.5 percent in 2007. The increase meant that 39.8 million people lived below the poverty line, the most since 1960. That's up from 37.3 million in 2007. For children, the poverty rate hit 19 percent, or 14.1 million youngsters in 2008. That means 35.3 percent of the nation's poor in 2008 were under age 18."
The foreclosure crisis and the high levels of job losses are two of the leading factors of the nation's increased levels of poverty. Many Americans are filing for bankruptcy to save their homes and receive relief from credit card debt ; but many are still falling below the poverty level because of the lack of jobs with living wages. Many analysts predict that the levels of poverty will continue to worsen as the number of businesses implementing job losses and/or filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy rise.