On September 13, 2016, US Census Bureau released three important yearly reports. The first covers US incomes and the poverty rate, the second reports on health insurance coverage and the third is an alternative poverty measure.
The reports show positive increases in incomes and health coverage between 2014 and 2015. However, since 1999 household incomes have been flat or declining. Incomes are 2.4% below the 1999 peak.
The median household income increased by 5.2% from 53,718 to 56,516. It was the first increase since 2007. Crazy huh? 2007! The report also noted that real median income in 2015 was 1.6% lower than in 2007 and 2.4% lower than 1999. Basically, incomes have stagnated for 16 years.
Black household incomes rose 4.1%, Hispanic family incomes by 6.1% and White incomes by 4.4% during the 2014-2015 period. Asian income did not increase.
Men saw their income increase by 1.5% and women by 2.7% percent.
Poverty and Health Insurance Rate
The poverty rate in 2015 was 13.5%. 43 million people in the US live in poverty. There were 3.5 million fewer people in poverty than in 2014. The 8% drop is the largest drop in the poverty rate since 1999.
The poverty rate for families was 10.4% with 8.6 million families in poverty. The poverty line was defined at $24,257 for a family of four. Again crazy.
The racial break down of people in poverty was as follows:
Number (Million) Rate
Whites 17.8 9.1%
Blacks 10.0 24.1%
Hispanic 12.1 21.4%
Health Insurance Coverage
The number of people without health insurance fell to 9.1% from 10.4%. About 29 million people do not have health insurance.
The information is contained in the two US census reports:
Income and Poverty in the US: 2015
Health Insurance Coverage in the US: 2015
Supplemental Poverty Measure
The Census also released a third report which calculates poverty in a slightly different way. It includes additional benefits from government programs but is more realistic about what people spend money on: Food, Clothing, Shelter, and Utilities. The report is a more accurate and detailed way of measuring poverty in the US.
The Supplemental Poverty Measure:2015 (SPM) calculated a poverty rate of 14.3% with 45.7 million people in poverty.
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