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Fri, Sep 16, 2011 10:00 AM EDT

It seems like an obvious sign of the times: America's growing poorer. For the third consecutive year, the country's poverty rate has increased, according to new figures released from the Census. Last year, over 46 million people lived in poverty nationwide. Julianne Hing reported recently that one if five children in the U.S. is living in poverty; many of those are kids of color and the children of immigrants. What's clear is that racial inequality is deepening at a time when meaningful political discourse on Capitol Hill has all but vanished.

Below, we examine just what these new poverty numbers look like, and what could potentially be in store for millions of families unless meaningful action is taken.

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