News Column

US Median Income Dropped in 2011

Sept. 12, 2012
Median Income

Median family household income in the United States fell by 1.7 percent in 2011 from 2010 to $62,273, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

Adjusted for inflation, the median household income was 8.1 percent lower than 2007, just before the most recent recession began, the bureau said.

The median income was 8.9 percent lower than the peak year of 1999, which is "not statistically different," than the drop from 2007, the bureau said.

The poverty rate was also not statistically different in 2011 than it was in 2010, but the percentage of people without health insurance declined.

Adjusted for inflation, median household income -- the income in the middle of the pack -- was $50,054 in 2011, a 1.5 percent drop from 2010 and the second consecutive annual drop.

In 1999, incomes adjusted for inflation hit a peak of $54,932.

The bureau said the poverty rate was 11.8 percent in 2011 with 9.5 million living in poverty, both numbers little changed from 2010.

The poverty rate is defined as a family of four with earnings of $23,021 or less.

From 2010 to 2011, the number of people with health insurance rose from 256.6 million to 260.2 million. The percentage of people with health insurance rose year to year from 83.7 percent to 84.3 percent.

Some of the difference was made up by higher numbers of people enrolled in government insurance programs. The number of people covered by government health insurance -- Medicaid and Medicare -- rose from 31.2 percent to 32.2 percent. Participation in both Medicaid and Medicare increased in 2011 from the previous year, rising from 15.8 percent to 16.5 percent for Medicaid and from 14.6 percent to 15.2 percent for Medicare

Source: Copyright United Press International 2012

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