Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released a new report titled Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011The 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 that contextualizes 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: 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: 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: 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.