New Census Data: Incomes Still Below Pre-Recession Level, Poverty Still Above

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Incomes Still Below Pre-Recession Level,
Poverty Still Above
New information released by the Census Bureau today shows that in the U.S., median household income has fallen 8.3 percent since 2007, the year before the recession began. There was essentially no change in median incomes between 2011 and 2012, meaning that while incomes have not started to rebound, they did not decline further.
Also included in the Census data was information about poverty and health insurance coverage in the U.S.
  • Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of people lacking health insurance fell slightly to 15.4%. That still leaves 48 million uninsured.
  • Across the country, more than 1 in every 5 children lives below the poverty line.
  • 46.5 million people live in poverty. That’s a poverty rate of 15.0 percent, which is effectively unchanged from last year but still significantly higher than the pre-recession rate of 12.5 percent.
The data in today’s release provide a useful overview of poverty, income, and health coverage on the national level. Thursday (9/19) the Census Bureau will release more reliable state-level data as part of the American Community Survey. At that time, MassBudget will provide fuller analysis of the Massachusetts data for income, poverty, child poverty, health insurance, and health insurance coverage for children.
The full Census Bureau report is available on their website. Complete analysis of the national trends can be found at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.


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