Pandemic in the US leaves more Hispanics and African descendants poor

There are an estimated 8 million new poor in the US from May to September. Photo EFE

The African-American community and Hispanics are the most economically affected by the coronavirus pandemic, as revealed by a study by Columbia University that determined that more than 8 million people in these sectors fell below the poverty line since the last May.

The figure raises the estimate of the total number of poor people living in the United States from 47 million to 55 million in September. According to the academy's research, the financial aid to face the crisis was insufficient.

The rapid decline in poverty recorded in May gradually disappeared, reaching its peak in September. The US has a population of 328,2 million inhabitants according to data from the Census Bureau of the US government.

Before the pandemic, the poverty situation in the North American country stood at 15%. May registered a slight recovery with 14,3%, but the figure was reversed and by last September it reached 16,7% according to the Center for Poverty and Social Policies of the New York university.

Researchers consider that economic stimulus measures for families, such as the sending of aid checks and supplements in unemployment benefits, reduced part of the increase in poverty in April and May. "However, they were unable to successfully prevent the increase in deep poverty, defined as a monthly income of less than half the threshold determined for a situation of poverty," the study maintains.

In May, unemployment benefits and checks passed by Congress saved 18 million people from falling into poverty. But in September the number was just 4 million because that injection of money had run out.

The most affected

The population of Hispanic origin, the second ethnic minority in the United States, was the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, with a poverty rate of 25,8 percent in September. Before the arrival of the virus in the North American country, that number was 23,7 percent.

As for African Americans, at the beginning of the year 23,8 percent lived below the poverty line. That percentage rose to 25,2 percent in September. In the case of the white population, the increase is less pronounced, with a rate that went from 11,2 to 12 percent.

AFP

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