The U.S. poverty rate rose by 2.4 percentage points during the final months of 2020 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and lingering economic stagnation. Economists from the University of Chicago and University of Notre Dame said the nation saw the largest annual increase in poverty in nearly 60 years.
Black Americans were hit the hardest during this time period. The poverty rate for Black Americans jumped by 5.4 percentage points, meaning that about 2.5 million more Black individuals are now considered poor by official government classification. The overall U.S. poverty rate, according to this latest study, sat at about 11.8 percent in December 2020.