According to new figures from the Census Bureau, more than 49 million Americans, close to one in six, lived in poverty last year. That number reflects a new approach to calculating poverty that takes into account money spent on health care, child care, and other living expenses. It also factors in government aid such as food stamps and tax credits. The new model does not replace the government’s traditional way of determining how many Americans live in poverty. The number for 2011 under that system was slightly lower: 46 million.
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