2. The proportion of Americans accepting antipoverty aid has soared.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo
As of 2009, roughly 4 percent of Americans lived in public housing; 6 percent lived in households receiving means-tested cash assistance; 11 percent accepted food stamps; and almost 25 percent received Medicaid. As of 2009, Eberstadt estimates that a stunning 45 percent of all American children were receiving means-tested government aid.