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US Census figures show Maine struggling

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- New U.S. Census figures paint a grim picture of Maine's economy.

The numbers released Wednesday show that from 2007 through 2011, the state's median household income dropped by 7.7 percent; the number of unemployed people increased by 43 percent; and the number of people living in poverty jumped by 15 percent.

The number of Maine families who received cash assistance — either Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or General Assistance — during the same period increased by nearly 12 percent and the number of Maine families who collected food stamps increased by 42 percent.

Maine remains above the national rate for cash assistance and food stamps.

Lower income came at the same time as costs increased, including fuel and food.