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US Poverty Hits Record Level

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The number of America’s poorest poor has reached a record high -- 1 in 15 people -- the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Some of the biggest jumps in poverty were reported not in the traditionally depressed inner cities, but in the once-booming suburbs of the Sun Belt, home to the worst ravages of the foreclosure crisis.  The largest increases were reported in Las Vegas, Riverside, Calif., and Cape Coral, Fla.

From his rented apartment in Miami, Frank Gil keeps hearing the recession is over. “I don't know how they keep saying that,” he said. “It seems every day is a little bit worse.”

Gil is among the 7 percent of the American population that makes up the poorest of the poor -- those with a family income of less than $11,157.

“We try to just spend on necessities,” he said.

Since 2007, neighborhoods where at least four out of 10 people are living in poverty have stretched over broader areas -- increasing in suburbs twice as fast as in cities.

The Census Bureau says 40 states had increases in the number of its poorest poor since 2007.  No state saw a decrease.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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