Household incomes rise to new high, but rate of health coverage flattens

Mae Love
September 13, 2018

The Census data showed that median household income increased in 2017 to $61,372, an increase of 1.8 percent after taking inflation into account, and is considered to be the highest on record.

The 2017 median income is the highest level reported by the Census Bureau, but the agency changed the methodology used to calculate the figure in 2013, complicating comparisons to prior years.

A help wanted sign is posted at a taco stand in Solana Beach, California, U.S., July 17, 2017. Median household income is generally viewed as the best gauge of how a typical middle-class home is faring financially.

The stunning report says the median US household income reached $61,372 past year, meaning half of Americans are earning more than they did during the previous high reached in 1999.

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But while the median household income for white, non-Hispanic households rose 2.6 percent to $68,145 in 2017 and rose 3.7 percent to $50,486 for Hispanic households, it fell 0.2 percent to $40,258 for African-American households. While that marks the third consecutive year of income gains, the rate of increase was considerably slower than in the last two years of the Obama administration.

The bureau also reported a decrease in the poverty rate and increase in earnings for all workers as the unemployment rate sunk throughout 2017.

The Census report showed the poverty threshold in 2017 was an income of $24,858 for a family of four. The U.S. economy has added jobs each month since October 2010, and the unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent in April.

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