Psalms for Poverty Statistics

The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report today and the news isn't good, but the Psalms offer hope to the people of God.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report today on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage. The report summarizes data for 2010 and compared it to earlier statistics to issue a gloomy economic forecast.

Here are the facts, as summarized by the Associated Press:

“The ranks of the nation’s poor swelled to nearly 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment woes left millions of Americans struggling and out of work. The number of uninsured edged up to 49.9 million, the biggest in over two decades.”

“The U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 has now risen faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s. …Measured by total numbers, the 46 million now living in poverty is the largest on record dating back to when the census began tracking poverty in 1959. Based on percentages, it tied the poverty level in 1993 and was the highest since 1983.”

“The share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent — or 49.9 million people. … That is due mostly because of continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.”

“Poverty rose among all race and ethnic groups except Asians. The number of Hispanics in poverty increased from 25.3 percent to 26.6 percent; for blacks it increased from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent, and Asians it was flat at 12.1 percent. The number of whites in poverty rose from 9.4 percent to 9.9 percent.”

“The median — or midpoint — household income was $49,445, down 2.3 percent from 2009.”

In light of this news, we offer Psalms of deliverance from the NIV:

Psalm 12:5: “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,” says the LORD.“I will protect them from those who malign them.”

Psalm 15:5: “Who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.”

Psalm 35:10: “My whole being will exclaim, ‘Who is like you, LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.’ ”

Psalm 113:7: “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.”

Where do you find hope when the economic forecast seems to grow gloomier by the day?

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

About the author, Christine A. Scheller

Christine A. Scheller is UrbanFaith's News & Religion editor. In past articles, she has explored her personal journeys in urban ministry and racial diversity. Email her at cascheller@explorationsmedia.com if you have news tips or story ideas.
  1. My husband runs a charitable medical clinic, and visits are way up. Plus, people are coming in very, very sick.

    Keep those Psalms a’comin.

  2. Pingback: What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: September 12-16 « Christine A. Scheller