Latinos Hit Hardest by Recession

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WASHINGTON—No ethnic group has suffered more from the U.S. economic recession than the Latino community, reports El Nuevo Día. One in four latinos currently lives below the poverty level, according to a new study of federal census data, "2010 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement." 

In 2009, some 43.6 million U.S. residents had incomes below the poverty line, or 14.3 percent of the population. This marked a 1.1 percent increase over the rate in 2008 and was the highest rate on record since 1994. Of those, 12.3 million were Latino, representing 25.3 percent of the Hispanic population.

The results were even more drastic for children: one in three Latino children currently lives in poverty, according to the study.

Only the African-American population is facing a more difficult financial situation, with a poverty rate of 25.8 percent. However, the increase in the percentage of poor Latinos, 2.2 percent between 2008 and 2009, is by far the largest of any other ethnic or racial group, El Nuevo Día reports. 

Although the study did not break down the information by Latino subgroups, federal census data released in March found that among the Latino population, the poorest were Mexicans, with 27.9 percent below the poverty line, followed by 22.6 percent for Puerto Ricans.

The poverty level is defined as an income of less than $22,000 annually for a family of four.