Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Census Bureau: US household income up 3.2%; poverty rate dips in Northeast

A homeless person sleeps on the steps of Federal Hall on Wall St. in New York City U.S Canadian incomes jump but Ontario residents hit by manufacturing downturn: Statistics Canada
Jeannie Matthews | 13 September, 2017, 00:41

The poverty rate dropped in President Barack Obama's final year of office as median household income rose to a record high last year. The lack of meaningful raises has left many people feeling left behind economically, a sentiment that factored into the 2016 elections. Meanwhile, Asian households had a median income of $81,400 and Hispanic households of $47,700.

The Census Bureau reportedly changed its methodology in 2014, which could mean the numbers are not definitive.

Real income grew drastically more for the top 10 percent of Americans than for the bottom 90 percent.

American families are finally getting a break nearly 10 years after the Great Recession decimated household income and eroded personal wealth. Some 40.6 million Americans were living in poverty in 2016, down from from 43.1 million in 2015.

The median U.S. household income for the year was $59,039, up 3.2 percent in inflation-adjusted terms from the prior year and the second consecutive increase.

Several Trump properties in Irma's path
In addition, a state of emergency has been declared for the whole of Florida by both state Gov. Two golf courses and a Miami hotel are also some of the properties in Irma's path.

The country's poverty rate fell 0.8 percent to 12.7 percent, which the Census said means 2.5 million fewer people lived in poverty a year ago than in 2015. About 1.2 million more Americans earned income in 2016 than in 2015, and 2.2 million more had full-time year-round jobs.

The poverty rate has returned to pre-recession levels.

The share of blacks in poverty fell to 22% in 2016, down from 24.1% a year earlier. Expansion states had an average uninsured rate of 6.5%, while the average rate in non-expansion states was 11.7%.

Income inequality and wage stagnation have plagued most American households in the post-recession years, crimping family budgets at a time when the cost of essentials such as health care have risen sharply. The rest had Medicare, Medicaid or military coverage. This is the first time since the recession that the poverty rate isn't statistically different from the 2007 level of 12.5%, a sign of how the USA economy has recovered from the Great Recession.

It showed that Social Security benefits lifted 26.1 million people out of poverty, while refundable tax credits helped 8.2 million people and food stamps prevented 3.6 million from being in poverty. The slight improvement still leaves 28.1 million people without coverage.

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