With state and national elections just around the corner, one of the questions frequently asked is: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Two ways to measure how the economy is doing is to determine if the poverty rate is increasing or decreasing and if household income is rising or falling.
How does Missouri stack up against other states?
Unfortunately, Missouri is one of 17 states where poverty has been increasing in each of the last three years and about one in six Missourians are now living in poverty, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.
Missouri is one of 10 states where the poverty rate has increased every year for the last three years and Missouri household income has been falling during the same period.
The median total household income in Missouri fell $3,710 from 2008 to 2011.
Total household income in Missouri has been dropping since 2008 when it was $48,957. In 2009 it slipped to $47,426. In 2010, it fell to $45,698, and in 2011 it declined to $45,247.
The new census report revealed almost 1 million Missourians are now living in poverty.
In 2011, the study showed, 920,118 Missourians, or 15.8 percent of the population, was in poverty. That's an increase of 31,548 Missourians in the one-year period from 2010 to 2011.
Nationwide, the number of people in poverty increased from 46.2 million in 2010 to 48.5 million in 2011, or 15.8 percent of the nation's population. It marked the fourth consecutive national increase in the poverty rate.
The percentage of people in the United States with income below 125 percent of their poverty threshold increased from 20.1 percent to 20.8 percent between 2010 and 2011.