The official poverty rate in the U.S. is determined using poverty thresholds that are issued each year by the Census Bureau. The thresholds represent the annual amount of cash income minimally required to support families of various sizes. The methodology for calculating the thresholds was established in the mid-1960s and has not changed in the intervening years. Poverty thresholds are updated annually to account for inflation. The 2009/2010 Federal Poverty Guidelines can be found here.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.4 percent of persons in Michigan were living below the poverty line in 2008, which is above the national average. And, poverty rates continue to climb across Michigan, according to data collected by the Michigan Department of Human Services.
All 83 counties in Michigan are affected by poverty. In fact, some of Michigan's rural communities have been even harder hit than large urban counties. Clare, Lake, and Roscommon counties had child poverty rates above 32 percent, the highest in the state. The poverty rate in Wayne County, where Detroit is located, was 31 percent.
Children represent a disproportionate share of the poor in the United States; they are 25 percent of the total population, but 35 percent of the impoverished population.
MCAAA and a network of CAAs across the state work together to provide a variety of programs and services to aid these low-income individuals and families achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency.