American families finally earn more than they did in 1999

American families finally earn more than they did in 1999

American families finally earn more than they did in 1999

Incomes for a typical US household, adjusted for inflation, rose 3.2 percent from 2015 to 2016 to $59,039, the Census Bureau said. The figures for 2016 mark the second consecutive annual increase in the median household income - a closely watched metric for how the American middle class is doing from year to year, adjusted for inflation. With that caveat in mind, Americans appear to be making only slightly more than they were in 1999, when income last peaked. Hispanic households have a real median income of $47,675.

The poorest US households, by comparison, have a smaller share of income than ever before.

"Over the past several decades Census Bureau reports have found that the average one year risk of poverty tends to vary between 11 and 15 percent". Yet that growth came after a steep recession and a slow recovery that left most American households with only meager pay increases. Overall, the story was pretty upbeat in 2016, the a year ago of President Barack Obama's term.

Since 2014, the bureau noted, the national poverty rate has fallen 2.1 percentage points - going from 14.8 percent to 12.7 percent. Nevertheless, the Census data indicates that the most recent income gains have pushed household income close to where it stood in 2007.

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It showed that Social Security benefits lifted 26.1 million people out of poverty, while refundable tax credits helped 8.2 million people and food stamps prevented 3.6 million from being in poverty.

The income gains were fairly broad. Also in 2016, the number of Americans living in poverty dropped from 43.1 million in 2015 to 40.6 million. Median income declined and the poverty rate rose during former President Obama's first term as the nation struggled to recover from the Great Recession before starting to improve in his second term. Basically, the good news from last year's income report, which was the first really positive sign in almost a decade, may be turning into a trend. Asians, who have the highest median income of $81,500, did not see a statistically significant change in income. Women now make 80.5 cents to every $1 earned by men, or an increase of 1.1 percent from 2015.

The Census Bureau on Tuesday released state-level data only on health insurance coverage.

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