Feb 23, 2012 7:37 PM GMT
151.7m people - 49.5% of the U.S. population - paid no federal income tax in 2009, figures show
Only half of U.S. citizens pay federal income tax, according to the latest available figures.
In 2009, just 50.5 per cent of Americans paid any income tax to the federal government - the lowest proportion in at least half a century.
And the number of people outside the tax system could have climbed even higher since as the economic downturn has continued to bite and unemployment has remained high.