Well, the Heritage Foundation is out with new updated data on just who the American poor are, and they found out by studying Census Bureau data. They didn’t make it up. Now, one thing you have to keep in mind when reading this is that we call people poor by virtue of their being under the poverty line, which, of course, is arbitrary. The poverty line here is multibillionaire status in India, for example, or the Third World. That being said, in the Heritage Foundation study on the Census Bureau’s annual report on poverty in the United States, the following information about persons defined as poor is all true.
6% of all poor households actually own their own homes. 75% of all poor households have air-conditioning. Only 6% of poor households are overcrowded. The average poor American has more living space than the average non-poor individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, and Athens. Nearly 75% of the poor in America own at least one car. Poor households also come well equipped with the latest technology. 97% of the poor in America have color TVs. 78% of the poor in America have a VCR or a DVD player. 25% of the poor have computers. That’s who the poor in America are.
This is from the Heritage Foundation analysis of Census Bureau data, which you can read in its entirety in the link below. By relative standards, our poor are poor compared to the upper middle class and wealthier Americans, but in terms of real poverty as it exists in the world today, it doesn’t exist here.