7 Figures: Income and poverty in the U.S.
Religion & Liberty Online

7 Figures: Income and poverty in the U.S.

The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest report on income and poverty in the United States today. Here are seven figures from the report you should know about:

1. Real median household income increased 3.2 percent between 2015 and 2016—from $ 57,230 to $59,039. (This figure surpasses the previous high reached in 1999.)

2. Real median incomes in 2016 for family households ($75,062) and nonfamily households ($35,761) increased 2.7 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, from their 2015 medians. (This is the second consecutive annual increase in median household income for both types of households.)

3. The real median income of non-Hispanic white was $65,041 (a 2 percent increase), $39,490 for African Americans (a 5.7 percent increase), and $47,675 for Hispanics (a 4.3 percent increase) households increased 2.0 percent, 5.7 percent, and 4.3 percent. In 2016 Asian households had the highest median income—$81,431.

4. Households with the highest median household incomes were in the Northeast ($64,390) and the West ($64,275), followed by the Midwest ($58,305) and the South ($53,861). The difference between the median household incomes for the Northeast and West was not statistically significant.

5. The 2016 real median earnings of men ($51,640) and women ($41,554) who worked full- time, year-round were not statistically different from their respective 2015 medians.

6. The poverty rate for families in 2016 was 9.8 percent, representing 8.1 million families, a decline from 10.4 percent and 8.6 million families in 2015.

7. In 2016, 11.3 percent of males were in poverty, down from 12.2 percent in 2015. About 14.0 percent of females were in poverty in 2016, down from 14.8 percent in 2015. For most demographic groups, the number of people in poverty decreased from 2015. Adults age 65 and older were the only major population group to see an increase in the number of people in poverty.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).