The data was published on Tuesday by the US Census Bureau, a principal agency of the American Federal Statistical System.
It said the poverty rate went up to 12.4 percent in 2022 which means millions lived without the minimum level of resources to meet their basic needs.
The figure is based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure which takes into account certain non-cash government assistance and needed expenses.
The surge in poverty is "stunning," said Sharon Parrott, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Parrott pointed to the end of the expanded federal Child Tax Credit in 2022 as a cause of the sharp increase in child poverty and called for lawmakers to reinstate the benefit.
The poverty rate among children has also become two-fold.
More than 12 percent of American kids lived in poverty last year.
"Child poverty took a big jump," said Timothy Smeeding, a leading expert on the poverty line and professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The hike in 2022 was likely connected to the end of pandemic-era benefits, said Dave Waddington, chief of the Census Bureau's social, economic and housing statistics division.
Zachary Parolin, a professor at Columbia University and author of the book "Poverty in the Pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19," said child tax credits, expanded unemployment benefits, Medicaid and food stamps caused poverty in the US to drop to record lows in 2020 and 2021.
"After three consecutive years of the lowest poverty rates on record, the streak is now broken," Parolin said.
Parolin added that this year's poverty rate increase confirms forecasts social scientists have made in recent years.
In the meantime, chief US economists predict the chances that the US economy will fall into a recession is high, making it a difficult year for many Americans already struggling with poverty.
Ex-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said last October that the US was in recession and would remain so for at least two years.
Nouriel Roubini, who accurately predicted the housing bubble burst in 2008, was quoted by US media as saying the US economy was in a "sharp slowdown.”
"The recession is going to be long, protracted, severe, and associated with financial distress across the board," warned the economist.
Source: Press TV
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