Friday, 22 September, 2017

American household income finally topped 1999 peak past year

Census Bureau Census Bureau
Mae Harvey | 13 September, 2017, 00:40

Median household income rose 3.2% when adjusted for inflation to $59,039, the second straight rise and a new all-time high, finally surpassing the previous record set in 1999.

Of those with coverage a year ago, just over two-thirds of Americans had private insurance, mostly from their employers. The Census changed its questions in 2014 in order to capture more sources of income, so officials don't want to make comparisons over longer periods of time. Since 1967, however, incomes for those in the top five percent nearly doubled, while the median income has risen by less than one third.

The poorest USA households, by comparison, have a smaller share of income than ever before.

According to the EPI's analysis of Census states the median income of non-elderly households is still well behind the peak reached in 2000 at $69,890, and she said it was "problematic" that men's wages had stalled in 2016. Overall, the story was pretty upbeat in 2016, the past year of President Barack Obama's term.

The poverty rate declined to 12.7 percent, meaning two and a half million fewer people below the official poverty rate.

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Still, the Census data is closely watched because of its comprehensive nature.

One interesting measure to look at is the real income growth from 2008 to 2016, the years spanning former President Barack Obama's two terms in the White House.

In the United States, family incomes are up, the poverty rate is down, and the number of people covered by health insurance has improved.

The percentage of people without health insurance for the entire calendar year of 2016 was 8.8 percent, or 28.1 million people, a 0.3 percent decrease from 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. Women earned 80.5 percent of men's earnings, up from 79.6 percent in 2015. For example, in 2016, a family of four with two adults and two children with a household income of $24,339 or less, two adults with $16,543 or less, or someone aged 65 or older with $11,511 or less would all be considered to be living in poverty.

It's important to note the Census data reports on 2016 income and poverty rates, which means the information doesn't reflect the policies of Mr. Trump, who was inaugurated in January 2017.

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