Over 48 million Americans live in poverty, according to a special report by the Census Bureau Thursday. It provides an alternative look at the worst off people in the nation than the official numbers that come out in September.

Government programs such as food stamps do help some people, especially children, but even so 16% of American children are living in poverty, according to the supplemental report.

“These are bad numbers,” said Robert Doar, a fellow of poverty studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a right-leaning think tank in Washington D.C. “We can do better, we’re not doing better and that’s discouraging.”

The official poverty line was $23,283 last year for a family of four. Today’s Census report — known as the supplemental poverty measure — takes into account living costs in different parts of the country as well as what government benefits people receive.

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