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8.2pc Indian-Americans live below the poverty line

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ndian-Americans may have the highest per capita income among all the major ethnic groups in the US, but more than eight per cent of the nearly three million community are living below the poverty line, according to a latest census report.

The 2007-2011 American Community Survey has said that 42.7 million people in the US had incomes below the poverty level.

The national poverty rate is 14.7 per cent. With 8.2 per cent below the poverty rate, Indian-Americans are far less poor than other ethnic groups and the national average, the Census Bureau report said.

Japanese-Americans too have a 8.2 per cent poverty rate. For Asians, poverty rates were higher for Vietnamese (14.7 per cent) and Koreans (15.0 per cent); Filipinos have the lowest poverty rate of 5.8 per cent.

Poverty rates for Vietnamese and Koreans were not statistically different from each other.

According to the report, for Asians, nine US states had poverty rates below 10 per cent (Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia and South Carolina).

Among Hispanics, the national poverty rates ranged from a low of 16.2 per cent for Cubans to a high of 26.3 per cent for Dominicans.

In its report the Census Bureau said two racial groups had poverty rates more than 10 percentage points higher than the national rate of 14.3 per cent: American Indian and Alaska Native (27.0 per cent) and black or African-American (25.8 per cent).

Rates were above the overall national average for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders (17.6 per cent), while poverty rates for people identified as white (11.6 per cent) or Asian (11.7 per cent) were lower than the overall poverty rate.

Poverty rates for whites and Asians were not statistically different from each other.

The Hispanic population had a poverty rate of 23.2 per cent, about nine percentage points higher than the overall US rate.

The US Government’s definition of poverty is based on income. For example, the poverty level for 2012 was set at an annual income of $23,050 (nearly Rs 12 lakhs) for a family of four.

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