Washington, DC – The U.S. Census Bureau released poverty figures on Tuesday showing that the median income in the United States has declined for the third straight year in a row and that the overall poverty rate has reached a record high.

More than one in six Americans lives in poverty and more than one in ten children under the age of six live in extreme poverty. African Americans and Latinos have seen the highest increase in poverty rates, with more than one in four living in poverty. The extreme poverty rate for women has risen to the highest recorded rate in 22 years, and more than one in four African-American women live in poverty.The poverty numbers follow a Pew Research Center study released in July showing that white Americans on average had 20 times the net worth of African Americans and Latinos. The economic progress made by people of color in the two previous decades was essentially eliminated by the housing bust and subsequent recession.

“While corporate executives enjoy record pay increases, many Americans find their jobs disappearing and their families struggling,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions. “The poverty numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau are more evidence that policies focused on giving massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy while cutting funding for social service programs is an economic experiment that has failed terribly. It did not work in the 1980s and it’s not working now.”

“The safety net we rely on is aged and tattered from decades of attacks from those with the goal to ‘shrink government’ by severely reducing or eliminating social programs that are vital to the health and economic well being of millions of middle class and low-income families,” Rockeymoore said. “When the ‘super committee’ meets to make hard decisions about how to reduce our debt, they cannot balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable. We must ensure that our social safety net is strengthened so that vulnerable Americans can receive the food, housing and income security they need to sustain them during these tough economic times.”

Global Policy Solutions is a social change strategy firm based in Washington, D.C. The mission of Global Policy Solutions is to develop strategic solutions that result in transformative benefits for people, communities, and the environment.