WASHINGTON >> New census estimates show the number of Americans living in poverty is higher than previously known — reaching a new level of 49.1 million, or 16 percent.
The numbers released Monday are a new supplemental poverty measure aimed at providing a fuller picture of poverty of America. They are higher than the official 2010 poverty rate of 15.1 percent, or a record 46.2 million, that was reported in September.
Much of the increase in the new measure comes from rising everyday costs, such as out-of-pocket medical expenses, that aren’t factored into the official rate. Americans 65 or older had the biggest poverty jump — 15.9 percent, versus 9 percent under the official formula.
For Hispanics, poverty rose to 28.2 percent, surpassing that of blacks for the first time.