Business

Median Household Income Has Finally Topped Pre-Recession Levels

Median Household Income Has Finally Topped Pre-Recession Levels

The U.S. poverty rate fell for the second straight year in 2016 to 12.7 percent, while median income rose to $59,000 in 2016 from $57,200 a year earlier, according to federal government data released on Tuesday. The lack of meaningful raises has left many people feeling left behind economically, a sentiment that factored into the 2016 elections. According to EPI's estimates, which compensates for the difference in income measurement before 2014, the median household earned about $59,992 in 2007, slightly more than the $59,039 reported in 2016. But Census officials cautioned against comparing the figures because the bureau has changed its methodology over the years. The median is the point at which half the households fall below and half are above.

American families are finally getting a break nearly 10 years after the Great Recession decimated household income and eroded personal wealth.

More than 40.6 million people in the United States were living in poverty a year ago, 2.5 million fewer than in 2015 and 6.0 million fewer than in 2014, Census said.

The median United States household income for the year was $59,039, up 3.2 percent in inflation-adjusted terms from the prior year and the second consecutive increase.

Non-Hispanic, white households have a real median income of $65,041, while black households have a median of $39,490. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.

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Of those with coverage past year, just over two-thirds of Americans had private insurance, mostly from their employers.

The percentage of people without health insurance for the entire calendar year of 2016 was 8.8 percent, or 28.1 million people, a 0.3 percent decrease from 2015. There are just seven states that now have 12% or more of their population uninsured, down from 31 states in 2013, ahead of the introduction of Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The rest had Medicare, Medicaid or military coverage. While that is an improvement, it still leaves 40.6 million Americans in poverty.

At the same time, the agency said last year's official USA poverty rate was about where it was before the recent US recession.

But medical expenses increased the number of people in poverty by 10.5 million.


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