US Family Incomes Up, Poverty Down

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"Overall the report suggests that the country is recovering from the 2007 and 2008 Great Recession". Only 8.8 percent of the population lacked insurance for the full year, down from 9.1 percent in 2015. That is the second gain in two years. We'll start out today's show by talking about what that means.


In a stark reminder of the damage done by the Great Recession and of the modest recovery that followed, the median American household only previous year finally earned more than it did in 1999. Tell me more about that. That's the highest median income ever recorded, though the Census Bureau cautions the changes they've made in their survey make historical comparisons very hard.

Incomes for workers aged 15 to 24 years increased by nearly 14% from 2015 to 2016, the largest gain for any age, race, gender, or regional group. "But it is very likely that if trends continue, we will get back to the levels where we were". If you're in the middle of the economic spectrum, your household is bringing in $59,039 a year. Whatever the combinations of reasons, the mid-point for men's income has been flat for 43 years, according to the Census Bureau.

Contrary to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 12, researchers at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the University of Notre Dame find that poverty has fallen sharply in the recent decades.

"What it did say was that increased employment is what's driving these numbers".

Remember that these figures are also for full-time, year-round workers only.

Also, this year income inequality doesn't seem to have worsened, with the Gini coefficient, a widely used measure of inequality, showing no significant change. New Hampshire comes out looking pretty good in both, for instance.

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The income gains were fairly broad.

In addition, the number of Americans living in poverty fell to 40.6 million from 43.1 million past year.

Additional census data providing poverty rates at the city level and state income statistics will be released Thursday, but experts said Tuesday's numbers bode well for Texas. Again, a growing economy and job creation helped lift families above that number.

California's poverty ranking jumps to No.1, when the Census Bureau factors in cost of living. Median incomes went up 11.2 per cent in Vancouver.

YDSTIE: Yes, it did. That was among people 65 and older.

Meyer and Sullivan plan to release an updated Consumption-Based Poverty report on an annual basis to coincide with the Census Bureau's report.

MCEVERS: These federal programs we hear so much about. He said that numerous items on Trump's agenda "would raise poverty, widen inequality, or reduce health insurance coverage". What's the news there?

The data showed that the ranks of those with health insurance coverage continued to grow a year ago. That's a slight improvement.

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