Poverty in Hawaii continues to grow

HONOLULU (AP) - US Census Bureau figures show the number of people living in poverty in Hawaii continues to grow.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the state's poverty rate rose last year to 12.5 percent, or more than 156,000 people. That was up from 9.9 percent in 2008 and 7.5 percent in 2007.

Last year's rate was the highest in Hawaii since 1997, when it stood at 13.9 percent.

In 2009, the poverty line for a single person in Hawaii was annual earnings of $12,460 or less. For a family of four, the line was set at $25,360 a year.

The Census Bureau said Thursday that the nation's overall poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent, or 43.6 million people. The poverty rate increased from 13.2 percent, or 39.8 million people, in 2008.

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