Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a new report titledA�Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011.A�The report has some shocking statistics about how much work must be done to ensure a strong and secure middle class in the United States.

The Economic Policy Institute used the Census data to put together its own report thatA�contextualizesA�some of this data. Here’s some important facts from their report, titled State of Working America:

  • Nearly A Fifth Of American Children Are In Poverty:A�The report finds that 21.9 percent of children under the age of 18 are in poverty (the poverty threshold for a family of four is $22,811).
  • Millions of Americans Depend On Social Security To Be Kept Out Of Poverty:A�EPI estimates that 21.4 million Americans were kept out of poverty thanks to this social insurance program.
  • Unemployment Insurance Is Keeping Millions Out Of Poverty:A�2.3 million people kept out of poverty in 2011 by unemployment insurance.
  • Incomes Fell For Many Middle Class People From 2010 to 2011: There was a negative 1.7 percent change in average household income between 2010 and 2011 for the middle 20 percent of earners. Meanwhile, the top 5 percent saw a gain of 5.1 percent.

Read the full report here.