NCLC charts and tables, based on the 2004 Current Population Survey, illustrate the concentration of poverty in Massachusetts among African American, Hispanic, and elderly populations and changes in the state's population by income to poverty ratio groups.
There has been a considerable growth in the percentage and total number of people living between 100% and 200% of the federal poverty level. The population rate of those barely eligible for a number of the federal benefit programs (125% - 150% FPL) grew by nearly 70%--from 2.6% in 1989 to 4.4% in 2003. Some of the breakdowns are particularly distressing. For example, in 2003, 3.6% of the total population was living between 150% and 175% of FPL compared to 11.6% of the African American population. About 3.8% of the total population lived between 100% and 125% of poverty, compared to 11.3% of people of Hispanic origin. Eight percent of the total population in 2003 lived between 125% and 175% FPL, compared to 17.2% of the elderly population.
The good news here is that there seems to have been a slowing of the growth of the very lowest income tier (< 50% FPL) that occurred between the 1990 and 2000 Census.