Census Bureau: Optimistic Outlook for Economy
The U.S. Census Bureau announced new comprehensive data for dates ranging between 2015 and 2016, which shows improvements in income, poverty and health insurance coverage.
Median household income increased by 3.2 percent, from $57,230 to $59,039. 2016 marks the second year in a row that the median household income in the U.S. increased. According John Ydstie of National Public Radio, “that’s the highest median income ever recorded, but the Census Bureau cautions that a big change in its survey in 2014 makes historic comparisons very difficult. We’re essentially back to about the same levels as 2007, just before the Great Recession.”
Real median income for family households sat at $75062, an increase of 2.7 percent from the 2015 medium. Nonfamily household’s medium income was $35,761, which was an increase of 4.5 percent.
The official poverty rate dropped 0.8 percentage points, from 12.7 percent in 2016, or 40.6 million people in poverty, which is 2.5 million people fewer than in 2015. This is also the second year in a row the poverty rate reduced. The report does note, however, that the poverty rate in 2016 is not much different than the poverty rate in 2007 (12.5 percent), right before the Great Recession.
Those covered by health insurance also rose year-over-year, which is another indication of a strengthening economy. In 2015, the number of Americans without health insurance for the full calendar year was 29.0 million—a year later that number fell to 28.1 million.
The report also breaks down median incomes, earnings, poverty, by region, race, sex, ethnicity, and age. To access the full breath of the Census Bureau’s report, you can go directly to the agencies website, here.