Census Bureau: Median Incomes Climbing for First Time Since 2007

  • Census Bureau: Median Incomes Climbing for First Time Since 2007

Census Bureau: Median Incomes Climbing for First Time Since 2007

Between 2015 and 2016, USA median household income rose 3.2% from $57,230 to $59,039, according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday. Republicans in Congress narrowly failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the law that extends insurance to millions of Americans.

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show California has the country's highest poverty rate, with almost one in five residents facing economic hardship when factoring in living costs such as housing. That's the best two-year gain on records dating to 1967, according to analysts at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The increased number of older Americans living in poverty could be due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, Americans born between 1946 and 1964. That compares with an uninsured rate of 9.1 percent in 2015 and 13.3 percent in 2013. Still, that means 28 million people did not have health insurance a year ago.

After a lost decade, Americans finally have begun making real gains, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That, along with a noticeable drop in the city's poverty rate, is the good news. As more Americans find jobs or move into full-time work, households are seeing their incomes rise.

MCEVERS: OK, so let's start with that median income number.

The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research organization based in Washington, estimated that without the change in methodology, median household income was still roughly 2.3 percent below the record high - and 1.6 percent below the level reached in 2007. The mean for the wealthiest fifth of households increased by $13,479, also adjusting for inflation.

MCEVERS: Wow. Did poverty go down the way median income went up across age and racial groups? The changes in incomes of households in the Northeast and Midwest were not statistically significant.

- The Northwest Territories had the highest median income in Canada at $117,688, followed by Nunavut at $97,441 and Alberta at $93,835.

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

Price growth picked up previous year, eating into income gains, though US inflation overall remained tame.

The median earnings for all men employed year-round was $51,640 in 2016, which is still far below the $54,030 earned by full-time men in 1973. Meanwhile, family households maintained by single women had the lowest median income of $41,027. While the poverty rate inside metropolitan areas declined by 0.8 percentage points, it did not significantly change in rural areas.

To get a clearer picture of income inequality across US households, consider adjusting your choice of statistical measures.

"While these numbers reflect incremental improvement, they have not cancelled out peoples' experience with the most recent economic downturn".