U.S. Household Income Rises, Poverty Rate Unchanged
Real median household income in the United States climbed 1.3 percent between 2006 and 2007, reaching $50,233, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the third annual increase in real median household income.
Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5 percent, not statistically different from 2006. There were 37.3 million people in poverty in 2007, up from 36.5 million in 2006. The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3 percent) in 2007.
These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 [PDF]. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2008 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).
Also released were income, poverty and earnings data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) for all states and congressional districts, as well as for metropolitan areas, counties, cities and American Indian/Alaska Native areas of 65,000 population or more.
Current Population Survey
(Primarily the source of national-level statistics)
The 2008 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) reveals the following results for the nation:
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
Real median income (adjusted for inflation) for black and non-Hispanic white households rose between 2006 and 2007, representing the first measured real increase in annual household income for each group since 1999.
Real median household income remained statistically unchanged for Asians and Hispanics.
Among the race groups and Hispanics, black households had the lowest median income in 2007 ($33,916). This compares to the median of $54,920 for non-Hispanic white households. Asian households had the highest median income ($66,103). The median income for Hispanic households was $38,679.
Between 2006 and 2007, real median household income rose in the Midwest ($50,277) and the South ($46,186), declined in the Northeast ($52,274) and remained statistically unchanged in the West ($54,138).
Real median income rose for native-born households for the second year, up 1.0 percent from 2006, to $50,946. For foreign-born households whose householder was not a U.S. citizen, income dropped by 7.3 percent to $37,637. For households maintained by a naturalized U.S. citizen, median income remained statistically unchanged at $52,092.
In 2007, the ratio of earnings of women who worked full time, year-round was 78 percent of that for corresponding men. The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round climbed between 2006 and 2007, from $43,460 to $45,113. For women, the corresponding increase was from $33,437 to $35,102. These increases in earnings follow three years of annual decline in real earnings for both men and women.
Income inequality decreased between 2006 and 2007, as measured by shares of aggregate household income by quintiles and the Gini index. The share of aggregate income received by households in the top fifth of the income distribution declined, while the shares for the third and fourth quintiles increased. Meanwhile, the Gini index declined from 0.470 to 0.463, moving closer to 0, which represents perfect income equality (1 represents perfect inequality).
In 2007, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 9.8 percent and 7.6 million, respectively, both statistically unchanged from 2006. Furthermore, the poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no statistical change between 2006 and 2007 for the different types of families. Married-couple families had a poverty rate of 4.9 percent (2.8 million), compared with 28.3 percent (4.1 million) for female-householder, no-husband-present families and 13.6 percent (696,000) for those with a male householder and no wife present.
As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for
inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the weighted average poverty
threshold for a family of four in 2007 was $21,203; for a family of
three, $16,530; for a family of two, $13,540; and for unrelated individuals,
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
For Hispanics, 21.5 percent were in poverty in 2007, up from 20.6 percent in 2006. Poverty rates remained statistically unchanged for non-Hispanic whites (8.2 percent), blacks (24.5 percent) and Asians (10.2 percent) in 2007.
For people 65 and older and those 18 to 64, the poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 9.7 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively. For children younger than 18, the poverty rate increased from 17.4 percent in 2006 to 18.0 percent in 2007.
The number of people in poverty increased for seniors 65 and older — from 3.4 million in 2006 to 3.6 million in 2007. For children younger than 18, the number in poverty climbed as well, from 12.8 million in 2006 to 13.3 million in 2007. For those 18 to 64, however, the number in poverty remained statistically unchanged, at 20.4 million in 2007.
Among the native-born population, 11.9 percent, or 31.1 million, were in poverty in 2007. Both the poverty rate and number in poverty were statistically unchanged from 2006.
Among the foreign-born population, the poverty rate and the number in poverty increased to 16.5 percent and 6.2 million, respectively, in 2007, from 15.2 percent and 5.7 million, respectively, in 2006. An increase in poverty for U.S. noncitizens (from 19.0 percent in 2006 to 21.3 percent in 2007) accounted for the rise in poverty for the foreign-born population overall.
The number in poverty in the South increased to 15.5 million in 2007, up from 14.9 million in 2006, while the poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 14.2 percent in 2007. In 2007, the poverty rates for the Northeast (11.4 percent), the Midwest (11.1 percent) and the West (12.0 percent) were all statistically unchanged from 2006. The poverty rate for the Northeast was not statistically different from that of the Midwest or West.
Health Insurance Coverage
The number of uninsured children declined from 8.7 million (11.7 percent) in 2006 to 8.1 million (11.0 percent) in 2007.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
Both the number and percentage of uninsured for non-Hispanic whites decreased in 2007, to 10.4 percent and 20.5 million, respectively. For blacks, the number of uninsured remained statistically unchanged from 2006, at 7.4 million, while the percentage declined from 20.5 percent in 2006 to 19.5 percent in 2007. The uninsured rate for Asians rose from 15.5 percent in 2006 to 16.8 percent in 2007.
The number and percentage of uninsured Hispanics decreased from 15.3
million and 34.1 percent in 2006 to 14.8 million and 32.1 percent in
Based on a three-year average (2005-2007), 32.1 percent of people who reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage. The three-year average uninsured rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders was 20.5 percent.
Between 2006 and 2007, the uninsured rate for the native-born population declined from 13.2 percent in 2006 to 12.7 percent in 2007. Meanwhile, the percentage of the foreign-born population without insurance was statistically unchanged at 33.2 percent in 2007. Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rate for naturalized U.S. citizens increased from16.4 percent in 2006 to 17.6 percent in 2007, while the uninsured rate for U.S. noncitizens was statistically unchanged from 2006, at 43.8 percent in 2007.
At 11.4 percent each, the Northeast and the Midwest had lower uninsured rates in 2007 than the West (16.9 percent) and the South (18.4 percent). The rates declined from 2006 in every region except for the Midwest, where the change was not statistically significant.
Rates for 2005-2007 using a three-year average show that Texas (24.4 percent) had the highest percentage of uninsured. No one state had the “lowest” uninsured rate. At 8.3 percent, Massachusetts and Hawaii had the lowest point estimates for uninsured rates, but they were not statistically different from Minnesota (8.5 percent), Wisconsin (8.8 percent) and Iowa (9.4 percent). In addition, Hawaii was not statistically different from Maine (9.5 percent).
Comparing a pair of two-year average uninsured rates (2004-2005 versus 2006-2007), five states and the District of Columbia saw a decline, while 10 states experienced an increase.
American Community Survey (ACS)
(Provides state, county and city statistics)
In the 2007 ACS, median household income ranged from $68,080 for Maryland to $36,338 for Mississippi. (The median income for Mississippi was not significantly different from that for West Virginia.)
Median household incomes for 18 states and the District of Columbia were above the U.S. median in 2007, while 29 states were below it. Three states had 2007 median household incomes that were not statistically different from the U.S. median.
Real median household income rose between the 2006 ACS and the 2007 ACS for 33 states, while one state (Michigan) experienced a decline.
For counties with 250,000 or more people, median household income ranged from $107,207 for Loudoun County, Va., to $29,347 for Cameron County, Texas. (Median income for Loudoun was not significantly different from that for Fairfax County, Va. In addition, median income for Cameron was not significantly different from that for Hidalgo County, Texas.)
For counties with a population between 65,000 and 249,999 people, median household income ranged from $100,327 for Hunterdon County, N.J., to $26,275 for St. Landry Parish, La. (Median income in Hunterdon was not significantly different from that for Calvert County, Md., and Arlington County, Va. In addition, median income for St. Landry Parish was not significantly different from that for Apache County, Ariz.)
For large places (250,000 or more people), Plano, Texas, had the highest median household income ($84,492), while Detroit had among the lowest ($28,097).
For smaller places (65,000 to 249,999 people), Pleasanton, Calif., had among the highest median household income ($113,345), while Youngstown, Ohio ($24,941) had among the lowest.
In the 2007 ACS, among states and the District of Columbia, poverty
rates ranged from 7.1 percent for New Hampshire to 20.6 percent for
In the 2007 ACS, there were 29 states in which poverty rates were lower than the national average; for 17 states and the District of Columbia, they were higher.
For 12 states and the District of Columbia, poverty rates declined from the 2006 to the 2007 ACS: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah. The only state where the poverty rate increased was Michigan.
Among counties with 250,000 or more people in 2007, Cameron and Hidalgo counties in Texas had higher poverty rates than the others. On the other hand, Douglas County, Colo., had a lower poverty rate than every other county in the same size category except for Somerset County, N.J., which at 2.6 percent was not statistically different.
Among smaller counties — populations between 65,000 and 249,999 ? Apache County, Ariz. (33.8 percent), St. Landry Parish, La. (32.8 percent), Webb County, Texas (31.1 percent) and Robeson County, N.C. (28.7 percent), while not statistically different from each other, had among the highest poverty rates in the 2007 ACS. With poverty rates ranging from 3.4 percent to 4.6 percent, the 10 smaller counties with the lowest rates did not differ statistically from one another. Among these counties was Stafford County, Va., where 3.4 percent had income below the poverty level.
In the 2007 ACS, among large cities (250,000 or more population), Detroit had the highest poverty rate (33.8 percent). Plano, Texas (5.9 percent), Virginia Beach, Va. (6.4 percent) and Anchorage, Alaska (7.3 percent), while not statistically different from each other, had lower poverty rates than other cities of the same size.
Among the smaller cities (65,000 to 249,999 population), Bloomington, Ind. (41.6 percent) had a higher poverty rate point estimate than other places, although its rate was not statistically different from that of Camden, N.J.; Brownsville, Texas; and Gainesville, Fla. The poverty rate for Highlands Ranch, Colo., which was among the lowest (0.8 percent), was not statistically different from Chino, Calif.; Yorba Linda, Calif.; Folsom, Calif.; Flower Mound, Texas; Pleasanton, Calif.; and Weston, Fla.
Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Alaska had median earnings above $50,000 for men who worked full time, year-round in the 2007 ACS. No state had median earnings for women above $50,000, but the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut had median earnings for women who worked full time, year-round above $40,000.
For each of the 50 states, women had lower median earnings than men in the 2007 ACS. The District of Columbia had the highest ratio of women’s-to-men’s earnings (93.4 percent). In fact, there was no statistically significant difference between women’s and men’s median earnings in Washington, D.C.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau