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

Posted September 14, 2017

The median household income in MA jumped almost 6 percent in 2016, and the state's poverty rate fell a percentage point, according to U.S. Census survey data released Thursday.

A niggling note: Many outlets are reporting that household incomes reached the highest level on record in 2016, but it's not so.

The bureau reported 40.6 million people in the United States are considered living in poverty, or 2.5 million fewer than in 2015.

(3) Earnings among male workers still lag more than a percentage point behind their 2007 level.

This year's report estimates poverty in the U.S.to be 12.7 percent for 2016, which is very close to the rate in 1980, suggesting little progress or change in the fight against poverty. If millions of Americans lose their health insurance, for example, or are forced to pay more for their plans, that will have a negative impact on just how far $59,039 can go.

Vance Ginn, also of the TPPF, said the Supplemental Poverty Measure, released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday, shows that Texas has the right approach over California. While poverty has fallen significantly during this expansion, it's still 1.6 percent higher than it was in 2000.

The growth in median household income and decline in poverty mainly accrued to demographic minorities, immigrants, the undereducated, and urban dwellers.

The report found that if you live in "family household", the median income for the household was $75,063.

In 2015, incomes in the Garden State were basically stagnant and the state's increase was dead last among the 50 states. Incomes rose a bit for non-Hispanic white ($65,041), Hispanic ($47,675), and black families ($39,490), but were lower than their Asian neighbors.

The median, inflation-adjusted income of $59,000 a year ago surpassed the level in 1999 as the highest on record, but Census officials discouraged that comparison because the method for measuring income changed in 2014.

What really matters for Americans is that incomes aren't only going up, they're also outpacing inflation.

Household income has surpassed a peak set in the late 1990s.

• Households with the highest median household incomes were in the Northeast ($64,390) and the West ($64,275), followed by the Midwest ($58,305) and the South ($53,861). Real median income for foreign-born households was $55,559 in 2016, lower than the median income of $59,781 for native-born households. Last year, the bottom 20 percent of households took in $19,288 on average, up from $17,976 in 2015.

MCEVERS: And we're talking about, though, this improvement in the year 2016.

A measure of income inequality, called the Gini index, wasn't statistically different at 0.481.

However, poverty on a national level has still not recovered to pre-recession levels.

That's compared with the national uninsured rate, which is now 8.8 percent. The youngest earners, those between age 16 and 24, saw their incomes rise by a whopping 13.9 percent.

Of those, 1.2 million Canadians are children under 18 - including their 10-month-old daughter, Isabelle. The poverty rate for Hispanics declined by 2 percentage points and the number in poverty fell by 996,000. Children represented 23.0 percent of the total population and 32.6 percent of the people in poverty.

In comparison, 32.1 per cent of people living alone were below the low-income cutoff.