Poverty Nears 5-Decade High

A different kind of tide is rising. The number of American poor is set to hit levels not seen since the 1960s, according to experts. Official 2011 census numbers are due to be released in the fall. Middle-class Americans have been sucked down despite gains made over the past generation as the job market has failed to improve for many. “I grew up going to Hawaii every summer,” said one 27-year-old Colorado resident. “Now I’m here, applying for assistance, because it’s hard to make ends meet. It’s very hard to adjust.” Some experts predict that poverty rate stands to rise as much as 15.7 percent when official figures are released.