Our friends at the Illinois Policy Institute have done a jaw-dropping analysis on poverty. They report that the worldwide poverty rate is now estimated to be below 10% today.
But in the U.S. the official rate is 11.5%.
Huh? Does anyone really believe that the richest country in the world has a higher percentage of poor people than the average country?
The 2023 poverty income level for a family of four is about $30,000. In most countries in the world an income of $30,000 for a family makes them rich, or at least upper middle income, not poor. But the median household income across the globe is a little under $10,000 a year. This means our poverty rate is roughly triple the MEDIAN income in all other countries.
When counting benefits like food stamps, IPI notes that “statistically, no American lives below the international poverty level.”
To take it one step further, the poorest person in this country has a higher living standard than a middle-income family in many countries around the world (see chart).