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Household Income Finally Beats 1999 Record

13 September 2017

The Census Bureau says the median income, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to $59,039.

"We see all of these things increasing for women over a long period of time", Heisz said.

Tuesday's report was based on survey data collected earlier this year for 2016, the final full year of the Obama administration.

And although the median income for urban dwellers jumped 5.4 percent previous year to $61,521, households in rural areas saw their earnings basically stagnate at less than $46,000.

The strong job market drove the income increase, experts said. That means households were more likely to include a full-time worker. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, adults age 65 and older were the only group that recorded more people living in poverty in 2016.

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"Real median household income has finally completed its nine-year slog of digging out of the ditch", said Chris Christopher, executive director of IHS Markit.

But officials said the numbers were not directly comparable because it had changed its questionnaire, so actual incomes may still be lower.

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.

Family median income for households rose 2.7% to $75,062 in 2016. This is the second annual increase in median household income for these households. Still, the gap between the very top and very bottom inched wider, as the lowest decile of American earners saw their incomes grow by 1.3 percent in 2016, while those in the top decile saw theirs increase by 3.8 percent. That poverty measure also decreased 0.6 percentage points, to 13.9 percent.

The poverty rate is back to pre-recession levels.

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• The difference between the 2015 to 2016 percentage changes in median income for households in all regions were not statistically significant. In general, 40.3 per cent of single-parent families were low-income, compared to just 11.9 per cent of two-parent families.

There's good news on three primary USA economic benchmarks: the poverty rate, income level and number of people covered by health insurance. The share of uninsured Americans has dropped in all 50 states since the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014.

In states that didn't expand Medicaid coverage, the uninsured rates for adults in poverty is nearly double that found in states that did expand coverage, such as California.

He noted that the poverty rate was 15.3% in Florida and 15% in Texas before those states were hit hard by massive storms. Still, that means 28 million people did not have health insurance a year ago. Private coverage also increased as companies hired more workers and offered better benefits. The rest had Medicare, Medicaid or military coverage. That was down from 13.5 percent of households and 43.1 million people in 2015. While this number is still higher than it should be, it was actually 2.5 million fewer people than were recorded in 2015.

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Household Income Finally Beats 1999 Record