US Census

The number of Americans living below the official federal poverty line stayed steady last year. That was a surprise to most experts, who predicted it would rise for the fourth year in a row. 

Still, poverty is near it’s highest rate since the modern welfare system began in the 1960s. And, the rate in Washington state appears to be rising.

Currently, about 850,000 people in Washington are officially poor. Poverty is defined by a certain income level – which was adopted back in 1959 and gets adjusted for inflation. Today, it’s about $23,000 for a family of four.

Tedeytan / Flickr

Despite the difficult economy, more Americans have health insurance than a year ago, according to newly released census data. One reason: the new “Obamacare” law allows young adults, up to age 26, to stay on their parents’ insurance. Many others qualified for government programs in 2011, such as Medicaid and Medicare.

The pattern is different, though, in Washington state.

Nearly one in six Americans lives in poverty, but the numbers are a little better in Northwest states. That's the headline from the latest population survey by the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau

The American West is home to more young people than any other region of the country according to new data from the U.S. Census. Still there are differences in the age demographics within our region.

U.S. Census Bureau

Washington's Latino population grew 71% in the last decade. That's according to newly released 2010 Census Data. The dramatic rise has implications for how Washington redraws its Congressional districts.

AP

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Prison Guard's Memorial Tomorrow
  • Pierce County Misses Out on Thousands in Census Count
  • Seattle Planning for Memorial to Native Woodcarver

 

Service for Officer Jayme Biendl on Tuesday

Thousands of mourners are expected at Everett's Comcast Center tomorrow for Officer Jayme Biendl's memorial. The Monroe Correctional Center guard was killed two weeks ago in the prison's chapel. An inmate, serving a three-strikes felony life term remains the prime suspect. The Herald of Everett reports the service will touch many lives, and many Snohomish County communities:

A motorcade is planned, with the route visiting the Monroe Correctional Complex where Biendl worked and then heading into Everett on U.S. 2. That journey is expected to last from about 10:30 am. to noon.

The new US Census data is out, and Washington is among eight states to add a seat in Congress. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced the 2010 data this morning. 

AP

Washington Ready to Add a Congressional Seat, while two western Washington Congressmen prepare for leading defense roles, and gay and lesbian service members mark the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" 

Courtesy Washington Secretary of State's Office

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census releases the first numbers from the 2010 population count. The first round of data will be used to reallocate Congressional seats among the states.

Top line numbers will be released tomorrow for the nation as a whole and for individual states. That’s all the info you need to redistribute proportionally the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.