Census Bureau: US household income up 3.2%; poverty rate dips in Northeast

Canadian incomes jump but Ontario residents hit by manufacturing downturn: Statistics Canada

The U.S. poverty rate fell for the second straight year in 2016 to 12.7 percent, while median income rose to $59,000 in 2016 from $57,200 a year earlier, according to federal government data released on Tuesday.

"Real median household income has finally completed its nine-year slog of digging out of the ditch", IHS Markit Executive Director Chris Christopher said, with more gains expected in 2017 and 2018. The Census changed its questions in 2014 in order to capture more sources of income, so officials don't want to make comparisons over longer periods of time. The 2016 median income figure remains 1.6% below its 2007 level and 2.4% below where it was in 1999, said Elise Gould, a senior economist at the institute. The U.S. economy added a total of 2 million jobs previous year, ending with a 4.7% unemployment rate, down from 5% at the close of 2015. The 12.7 percent poverty rate in 2016 was a decrease of 0.8 percentage points from 13.5 percent in 2015, it said.

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 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. It's the second consecutive year the USA has seen an increase.

According to the Census Bureau, 2016 marked the first year that the poverty rate was not significantly higher than in 2007, or prior to the Great Recession. There were 40.6 million people living in poverty.




Some 28.1 million people lacked health insurance in 2016, down from 41.8 million in 2013.

The number of poor decreased for most demographic groups with the exception of adults over 65 years old, the only population group that posted an increase in the number living in poverty, it added.

Another trouble spot can be found for full-time male workers, who saw their incomes slide a year ago.

Asian-Americans reported the highest household incomes, at $81,431, which was little changed from 2015.

The gap between the earnings of women and men narrowed slightly in 2016, with women now earning just more than 80 cents for every dollar men earn.

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