After four straight years of decline, the nation’s poverty level rose in 2001. The Census Bureau reports the poverty rate rose from 11.3 in 2000 to 11.7 in 2001. The median household income dropped by slightly more than two percent. Charles Nelson with the Bureau cautions against placing too much emphasis on the one-year change. Things held steady in Missouri. Nelson says Missouri’s poverty rate stayed steady at 10.2 percent. The state’s median household income hovers around $37,000. Nelson says the numbers reflect an economy in retreat that took a big hit when terrorist attacked on September 11th.