Many in America, while struggling, also have more assets than you might assume based on media reports.

According to research by Robert Rector, a leading authority on poverty and welfare programs at The Heritage Foundation, the official U.S. Census Bureau poverty report (to be released this morning) undercounts welfare income, therefore failing to provide meaningful information about the actual living conditions of poor Americans.

For most Americans, the word “poverty” means significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing. But only a small portion of the more than 40 million people labeled as poor by Census fit that description.

Fifty years after the launch of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, Rector’s findings show that poverty in America is only getting worse, and the federal government is to blame. The Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state when counting family “income.” U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on more than 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing and medical care to low-income Americans.

Check out the infographic below to see exactly how poor families are living in America today.


>>> Read More Facts: The War on Poverty After 50 Years