The number was was largest in the 52 years that the Census Bureau has been publishing poverty estimates, the report said, while the poverty rate was the highest since 1993.
The United States has long had one of the highest poverty rates in the developed world.
Among 34 countries tracked by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, only Chile, Israel and Mexico have higher rates of poverty.
Beginning with this homeless man seen begging for money in downtown Los Angeles on August 22, 2011, a look at the poor in America.
Text and Images: Reuters