46.5 million Americans lived in poverty in 2012: Census

 In this April 4, 2013 file photo, a group of boys walk past a partially collapsed row house in Baltimore. The number of people living on or below the poverty line in the United States remained unchanged in 2012 at 46.5 million, according to off
 In this April 4, 2013 file photo, a group of boys walk past a partially collapsed row house in Baltimore. The number of people living on or below the poverty line in the United States remained unchanged in 2012 at 46.5 million, according to official figures released on Tuesday. -- FILE PHOTO: AP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The number of people living on or below the poverty line in the United States remained unchanged in 2012 at 46.5 million, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

That equals a poverty rate of 15 per cent for the second consecutive year, the US Census Bureau said.

The official poverty line for a family of four is based on an annual household income of US$23,492 (S$29,582).

Meanwhile, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage dropped to 15.4 per cent in 2012 from 15.8 per cent a year earlier.

The number with health insurance rose to 263.2 million in 2012, compared to 260.2 million the previous year.

The average income for family households remained unchanged at US$64,053.

Incomes have dipped 8.3 per cent since 2007, the year before the recession.