WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of poor people in the U.S. is millions higher than previously known, with one in 6 Americans -- many of them 65 and older -- struggling in poverty due to rising medical care and other costs.
Preliminary census figures released Wednesday show that government aid programs such as tax credits and food stamps kept many people out of poverty, helping to ensure the poverty rate did not balloon even higher during the recession in 2009.
Under a new revised census formula, overall poverty in 2009 stood at 15.7 percent, or 47.8 million people. That's compared to the official 2009 rate of 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million, that was reported by the Census Bureau last September.
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