Latinos were the only racial or ethnic group to see improvement in their poverty statistics, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau. Though it is a seemingly marginal decline in poverty, the numbers represent thousands of people.
"Latino poverty slid to 25.3 percent in 2011 from 26.5 percent in 2010," reported the Huffington Post. "The difference, while statistically slight, means that 278,000 fewer Latinos were living in poverty in 2011 than in the prior year."
Aside from the change in the Latino population, the poverty statistics overall remained relatively the same, but they did show a decline in household income and the number of people without health insurance, according to CBS News.
Many experts were predicting a worsening trend in poverty numbers, according to sources, so the relative stagnant movement is somewhat unexpected.
"The overall poverty rate stood at 15 percent, statistically unchanged from the 15.1 percent rate in the previous year," CBS News reported. "Experts had expected a rise in the poverty rate for the fourth straight year, but unemployment benefits and modest job gains helped stave that off, the bureau reported. For last year, the official poverty line was an annual income of $23,021 for a family of four."
"This is good news and a surprise," said Sheldon Danziger, a University of Michigan economist who closely tracks poverty, in a Fox News Latino Article. "He pointed to a continuing boost from new unemployment benefits passed in 2009 that gave workers up to 99 weeks of payments after layoffs and didn't run out for many people until late 2011."
Despite the seemingly positive numbers for Latinos, a National Council of La Raza analysis revealed that nearly all the progress was concentrated amongst childless Latino adults, and that of the 13 million Hispanics living in poverty, 6 million were under the age of 18, according to the Huffington Post.
The increasing number of Latino voters makes the Census Bureau's findings even more significant, especially considering the time of their release, according to reports.
"Both campaigns have openly courted Latino voters this year as Latinos make up the nation's largest minority group and the fastest-growing segment of the electorate," according to the Huffington Post.