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Researchers find sharp decline in poverty in USA despite census report

Researchers find sharp decline in poverty in USA despite census report

New figures released by the Census Bureau Tuesday show median household income in 2016 was $59,039 - more than 3 percent higher than in 2015.

"One way to understand this attitude is to take a longer-term view by calculating the economic risk of poverty over a 5-year period using tools such as the poverty risk calculator".

Nikkie Edwards and her boyfriend make about $31,000 a year, a sum that leaves them below the poverty line as defined by Statistics Canada - and in the company of another 4.8 million people, according to the latest census numbers released Wednesday. But there were still 40.6 million poor people in the nation a year ago. A single person making $22,133 qualifies as low-income as does a family of four with an income less than $44,266.

One reason the gap in Texas remains so wide is because state leaders chose not to expand Medicaid coverage, Dunkelberg said, keeping many low-income adults who don't have children or a disability out of the mainly federally funded program.

And by race, Asian households had the highest median income, but black households had the largest percentage gain. The median income of whites rose 2% year-over-year to $65,000.

The share of the population without health insurance fell to 8.8 per cent, or 28.1 million people, down from 9.1 per cent in 2015.

At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.

It's now the highest income year on record, beating the previous high of $58,655 in 1999 (all numbers are adjusted for inflation).

The chart only shows income, but not the quality of goods in the stores, such as Starbucks coffee, cheap products imported from China, high-tech music players, improved autos or better health-care.

Overall, the median household notched solid economic gains past year, building on improvement in 2015.

The Census report covers 2016, the past year of the Obama administration, and underline the strength of the economic recovery he oversaw after the worst recession in living memory.

The poverty rate dropped to 12.7 percent in 2016 from 13.5 percent in 2015.

Price growth picked up a year ago, eating into income gains, though USA inflation overall remained tame.

In fact, the report notes that "the real median earnings of full-time, year-round working men were 1.1 percent lower in 2016 than in 2007". Those in the 90th percentile of earnings saw their real incomes grow roughly 10.6 percent. Neither the poverty rate nor the number in poverty was statistically different from 2015. The South and the Western regions of the USA saw the biggest income increases, while the Northeast and Midwest saw no statistically significant change at all.

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