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The poverty rate fell for the first time since 2006, according to data released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau. The news inspired hopeful headlines in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times, among other outlets.

But it might be a little early to start high-fiving. Although the economic situation has improved for some Americans โ€” Hispanics in particular โ€” 45 million people are still living in poverty.

Here are five charts from the report that show why we still have to do better:

The portion of the American public living in poverty has remained relatively stable since the mid-1960, hovering between 10-15 percent. Cynics might see that as a victory โ€” at least things haven't gotten worse.


Yet the total number of people living in poverty has grown through the last decade, and there's little indication that it will drop substantially in coming years.

The poverty rate for Hispanics dropped by 2 percent over the past year, making Hispanics the only major racial or ethnic group to improve their standing. But the bigger picture should be startling.


Hispanics are overrepresented among America's poor, as the Pew Research Center pointed out this week. While Hispanics represent 17 percent of the population, they make up 28 percent of those living in poverty.

The stats are more worrying when it comes to kids. Hispanic children account for 37 percent of America's 14.5 million impoverished kids.


The earning gap between women and men has narrowed slightly in recent years, but women who work full-time still earn 78 cents to every dollar a man earns.

The poverty rate for children under the age of 18 fell from 21.8 percent to 19.9 percent from 2012 to 2013. The slight improvement probably doesn't mean much to the one in five children living in poverty.


The poverty rate among boys and girls is pulling close to even. But it's hardly a win for gender or income equality; millions of kids are still living in households where obtaining essentials such as clothing and healthy food could be a challenge.

Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.