According to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, 46 million Americans live in poverty, which is about 15 percent of the U.S. population.
In the United States, Mississippi ranks as the 51st poorest state (Washington DC is included in the study), with an overall poverty rate of about 24 percent.
Other 2012 statistics note:
-The poverty rate was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the 2008 recession.
-The number of people living in poverty is the largest number seen in the 54 years for which poverty estimates have been published.