Georgia has experienced a statistically significant increase in poverty, said Trudi Renwick, a census statistics worker.
The census estimates are based on a limited state sample of 4,610 Georgians. More detailed statistics are expected in two weeks. To lessen the margin of error, census officials recommended comparing 2006-2007 figures to 2008-2009 to estimate the state's poverty rate. Over that time, Georgia's poverty rate jumped from 13.1 percent to 16.9 percent.
The nation's poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008.