AUGUSTA — New U.S. Census figures show more Mainers living in poverty.

Figures based on the 2010 census, released today, show about 161,000 Mainers lived in poverty. The poverty rate of 12.5 percent was up from 11.4 percent in 2009.

Maine’s 2010 poverty rate was still lower than that national rate of 15.1 percent.

Advocates for low-income people in Maine said the recession and high unemployment have driven the poverty rate up.

“With unemployment at 9.6 percent nationally and 7.7 percent in Maine, it is not surprising that more people have fallen below the poverty level and that family incomes are hardly growing,” said Christopher St. John, executive director of the Maine Center for Economic Policy. St. John said the trends should signal Congress to pass President Barack Obama’s job creation legislation.