Household Income Finally Beats 1999 Record


The median USA household's income finally topped pre-recession levels last year and has reached an all-time high after years of sluggish growth.

Median household increased 3.2 percent to $59,039 a year ago, from $57,230 in 2015.

According to the EPI's analysis of Census states the median income of non-elderly households is still well behind the peak reached in 2000 at $69,890, and she said it was "problematic" that men's wages had stalled in 2016.

As a result, 40.6 million people now live below the poverty line, 2.5 million fewer than the year before, in the second consecutive decrease in poverty. This is the first time since the recession that the poverty rate isn't statistically different from the 2007 level of 12.5%, a sign of how the US economy has recovered from the Great Recession. Meanwhile, Asian households had a median income of $81,400 and Hispanic households of $47,700. The median income of whites rose 2% year-over-year to $65,000. Those in the median and bottom 10th percentile of earners saw their real incomes grow 5.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. After two straight years of solid income gains, the median American household last year essentially earned the same as it did in 1999, when incomes peaked at $58,665. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.

Additionally, Census said the supplemental poverty measure was 13.9 percent. That's $22 per year.

The agency released data on income, poverty, and health insurance for 2016.

The female-to-male earnings ratio rose 1.1 percentage points to 80.5% - the first gain since 2007. Both of those are increases over the previous year.

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. MA again claimed the lowest uninsured rate in the country.

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