This chart is designed to show changes in the percentage of people below the poverty line. The X-axis represents years from 1959 forward; the Y-axis represents the percent of people living in poverty. The chart shows that the poverty rate declined from 22.4 in 1959 to its low point of 11.1 percent in 1973. Since then, it has gone up and down, rising to a modern high of 15.2% in 1983.