Who is poor? | Institute for Research on Poverty | University of Wisconsin–MadisonThe poverty rate represents an average over the entire population and does not really tell us who is well-off and who is worse off. Blacks and Hispanics have poverty rates that greatly exceed the average. The poverty rate for all blacks and Hispanics remained near 30 percent during the 1980s and mid-1990s. Thereafter it began to fall. In 2000, the rate for blacks dropped to 22.1 percent and for Hispanics to 21.2 percent—the lowest rate for both groups since the United States began measuring poverty. By 2010, however, the poverty rate for both groups had risen to around 27 percent.