Sometimes you take good news where you can.
So here’s your positive tidbit for the day: The nation’s poverty rate dropped significantly last year for the first time since 2006.
Yes, well, hip-hip hooray and all that.
The overall rate dipped from 15% to 14.5% (still pretty damn high).
That rate was pushed down primarily thanks to the efforts of Hispanics, who showed the most improvement. The rate for Latinos fell from 25.6% to 23.5%.
So instead of “over one-quarter of Hispanics live in poverty,” we can now say, “just under one-quarter of Hispanics live in poverty.”
Hey, I warned you that the good news was limited.
Among the reasons for the decline in Latinos’ poverty rate are the improved job market and the fact that more U.S.-born Latinos are entering the workforce. And remember that U.S.-born Latinos “tend to have more education [and] tend to be English-speaking,” which often leads to higher earnings.
Latinos were the only ethnic group to see a noticeable change in their poverty rate last year, but even with that, the percentage of destitute Hispanics is still substantially higher than it is for whites or Asians.
And while Latinos make up 17% of the American population, they constitute 28.1% of poor people.
Do you still feel like celebrating?