United States Income and Poverty

Income & Poverty in United States

The U.S. Census Bureau collects and publishes data and estimates each year related to economic trends and how they affect the economic well being of individuals, families and households. Census Bureau’s report on income and poverty in United States is based upon the 2018 and earlier current population survey (CPS) as well as Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC). Below are the highlights of the Bureau’s 2017 report on income and poverty.  A summary of the report followed by key findings related to income and poverty in US.

.Summary

– Median household income rose for a third consecutive year in 2017. Between 2016 and 2017, there was a 1.8 percent increase in median household income.

– Between 2016 and 2017, the real median earnings of female workers had no statistically significant change. Male workers experienced a 3% rise in their real median earnings.

– The real median earnings of full time workers (both sexes, working full time throughout the year) saw a 1.1% decrease from 2016 to 2017.

– Number of full time working men with earnings increased 1.4 million from 2016 to 2017. Number of full time working women with earnings rose 1 million from 2016 to 2017.

– Official poverty rate decreased for a third consecutive year. From 2016 to 2017, the official poverty rate decreased by 0.4 percent.

– Number of poor people in 2017 was not significantly different from their number in 2016.

.Income in the United States (Highlights)

– Median household income rose from $60,309 in 2016 to $61,372  in 2017, an increase of 1.8%. Third consecutive year of rising median household income.

– Real median income of family households in 2016 was $76,676. It increased by 1.4% in 2017 to $77,713.

– Real median income of married-couple households in 2016 was $88,929. It increased by 1.6% in 2017 to $90,386.

– The real median income of households with non-hispanic white householders increased by 2.6% from $66,440 in 2016 to $68,145 in 2017.  Third consecutive year of increase in median household income for this group.

– The real median income of households with hispanic householders increased 3.7% from $48,700 in 2016 to $50,486 in 2017. Third consecutive year of increase in median household income for this group.

– The real median income of households maintained by African American householders saw a decrease of 0.2 percent from 2016 to 2017. Real median income of such households declined from $40,340 in 2016 to $40,258 in 2017.

– Of all these racial groups the households maintained by Asian householders had the highest median income in 2017 at $81,331. However, the median income of such households declined from $83,183 in 2016 to $81,331 in 2017.

– Households maintained by a  native born person saw their real median income increase by 1.5 percent in 2016-17 period. The real median income of such households increased from $61,066 in 2016 to $61,987 in 2017.

– Households maintained by a foreign born person saw an increase of less than 1 percent in their real median income from 2016 to 2017 period. The real median income of such households increased from $56,754 to $57,273 or 0.9% from 2016 to 2017.

– Real median earnings of male workers rose by 3% from 2016 to 2017. Their median earnings rose from $43,128 in 2016 to $44,408 in 2017.

– Median earnings of the female workers unlike that of the male workers did not see any significant increase in 2016-17 period. Their median earnings rose from $31,546 in 2016 to $31,610 in 2017.

– The real median earnings of workers both male and female working full time throughout the year dived by 1.1% from 2016 to 2017. That of men dived from $52,751 in 2016 to $52,146 in 2017 whereas that of women dived from $42,448 in 2016 to $41,977 in 2017.

– In case of householders under 65 years of age, median household income rose 2.5 percent between 2016 and 2017. Median income of such householders rose from $67,917 in 2016 to $69,628 in 2017.

– Median household income of householders aged 15 to 24 fell by 5.8 percent from 2016 to 2017. From $42,551 in 2016, the real median income of this age group fell to $40,093 in 2017.

– Real median income of householders aged 24 – 34 did not see any significant change between 2016 and 2017. Their median income rose by just 0.1 percent from $62,243 to $62,294.

– Real median income of householders aged 35 to 44 rose by 3 percent from $76,082 to $78,368 from 2016 to 2017.

– Real median household income of householders aged 45 to 54 rose by 2.3 percent from $78,874 to $80,671 in 2016-17.

– The real median income of householders aged 55 to 64 rose by 2.9 percent from $66,642 to $68,567 in 2016-17 period.

– Of all the age groups, householders aged 45 to 54 had the highest median income in 2017 at $80,671 followed by 35-44 at $78,368.

– The age groups with the lowest median income were 65 years and older and 15-24 years at $41,125 and $40,093 respectively.

– The real median income of households in NorthWest increased by 1% from 2016 to 2017. Their median income increased from $65,774 to $66,450.

  The real median income of households in Midwest increased by 2.6% in 2016-17 period from $59,558 to $61,136.

– Households in South experienced an increase of 1.3% in 2016-17 period from $55,019 to $55,709.

– Real median income of Households in West increased by 2.8% in the 2016-17 period from $65,658 to $67,517.

– Median incomes were highest in Northeast and West.

.Poverty in United States

– Poverty rates in United States declined for a third consecutive year. Official poverty rate came down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 to 12.3 from 2017 to 2016. From 2014 to 2017, official poverty rate fell by 2.5 percentage points from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent.

– There were 39.7 million poor people in United States in 2017 versus 40.6 million in 2016.

– Poverty rate for adult persons in 18-64 age group declined by 0.4 percent from 11.6 to 11.2%. For people under 18 and above 65, there was no statistically significant change in poverty rates from 2016 to 2017.

– There was an increase of 0.3 percent  in the poverty rate for people with a bachelor degree or higher from 4.5 to 4.8 percent. It was the only group to see its poverty rate increasing. However, it was also the group wit the lowest poverty rate. Poverty rate was the highest for people with no high school diploma at 24.5 percent in 2017 having fallen from 24.8 percent in 2016. The group with second highest poverty rate by educational attainment was the group with high school diploma and no college degree. This group had a poverty rate of 12.7 percent in 2017 which was 0.6 percentage points less than 2016.

.Poverty rate for both sexes in 2017:-

Male :-

Under 18 yrs :- 17.3

18-64 yrs. :- 9.4

65 yrs or higher :- 7.5

Female :-

Under 18 yrs :- 17.7

18-64 yrs. :- 13

65 yrs or higher :- 10.5

– 17 million non-Hispanic white individuals were living in poverty in 2017. The poverty rate in this group was 8.7 percent. In 2016, the poverty rate among non-Hispanic whites was 8.8 percent whereas the number of poor non-Hispanic whites was 17.3 million. This group was the largest among the entire US population. They were 60.5 % of the total US population and also 42.8% of the people living in poverty.

– The number of African Americans was 42.5 million of which 9 million were living in poverty. The poverty rate for Blacks was  21.2% in 2017 versus 22 percent in 2016. Number of poor African Americans in 2016 was 9.2 million.

– 2 million Asians were living in poverty in U.S. and the poverty rate for this racial group was 10%.

– For the African Americans and Asian there was no significant change in poverty rate or number of people living in poverty.

– Poverty rate for Hispanics changed from 19.4 percent in 2016 to 18.3 percent in 2017. The number of Hispanics did not change significantly from 2016 to 2017. It was at 10.8 millions in 2017.

– Poverty rate for males did not see any significant change from 2016 to 2017. Male poverty rate was 11 percent and the number of poor males was 17.4 million.

– Poverty rate for females fell from 14 percent in 2016 to 13.6 percent in 2017. Number of poor females came down to 22.3 millions from 22.9 in 2017 millions in 2016.

– The poverty rate for men in he 18-64 age group was 13 percent whereas that for women in the same age group was 9.4 percent.

– Poverty rate for men in the 65 and older age group was 7.5 percent whereas that in women 65 and older was 7.5%.

– Poverty rates for under 18 males and females were statistically not different. For males it was 17.3 percent and for females 17.7 percent.

– Poverty rate for people aged 18-64 was 11.2 percent in 2017 down from 11.6 percent in 2016. Number of poor people in this age group was 22.2 million.

– For people 65 and older, the poverty rate was 9.2 percent. Around 4.7 million people in this age group were living in poverty. There was no statistically significant change in the number of people or the poverty rates from 2016 to 2017 for this group.

– Poverty rate was 17.5 percent for people under 18. 12.8 million people under 18 were living in poverty in 2017.  Under 18 people were 22.7% of the entire population and poor under 18 people represented around 32.3 % of the entire poor population.

– Poverty rate came down for the native population from 12.3 in 2016 to 11.9 in 2017. The number of poor natives in 2017 was 33.1 million.

– Poverty rate was 14.5 percent in foreign born population and 6.6 million of them were living in poverty in 2017.

– The only region to have experienced a statistically significant change in 2017 was West. Poverty rate in west came down from 12.8% in 2017 to 11.8% in 2016. Number of poor people in West came down from 9.8 to 9.1 million from 2016 to 2017.

– In NorthEast poverty rate was 11.4 percent and number of poor people was 6.4 million in 2017.

– In Midwest the poverty rate was 11.4 percent and the number of poor people 7.6 million in 2017.

– In South poverty rate was  13.6 percent and number of poor people 16.6 million in 2017. Compared to the other three regions, the poverty rate was the highest in 2017 in South.

– For the metropolitan statistical areas, the poverty rate was 11.9 percent and the number of poor 33.3 millions.

– Poverty rate for those living outside metropolitan statistical areas was 14.8 percent in 2017, having fallen from 15.8 percent from 2016. Number of poor people in these areas came down from 6.9 to 6.4 million.

– Poverty rate for those living outside the principal cities in the metropolitan areas was 9.7%. Number of poor people in these areas was 17.1 million. No statistically significant change in poverty rate or number of poor people from 2016 to 2017.

– Of the people living in the principal cities in the metropolitan areas, the poverty rate was 15.6 percent and the number of poor people was 16.2 million. No statistically significant change in poverty rate or number of poor people from 2016 to 2017.

– Poverty rate among working people aged 18-64 declined from 5.8 percent to 5.3 percent in 2016-17 period.

– Among the full time workers, the poverty rate was not statistically different from 2016 in 2017 at 2.2%.

– Less than full time workers had a poverty rate of 13.4 percent in 2017, down from 14.7 percent in 2016.

– People with a disability in the age group 18-64 had a poverty rate of 24.9 percent in 2017 down from 26.8 percent in 2016. Number of poor people with a disability was 3.8 million in 2017 against 4.1 million in 2016. Among all people aged (18-64), people with a  disability constituted around 7.6 percent and 16.9 percent of the poor population in the same age group.

– People without disability in the age group 18-64 had the poverty rate of 10.1 percent in 2017 and the number of poor people without a disability was at 18.4 million.

Education

– Poverty rate among people 25 or older without a high school diploma was 24.5%. No statistically significant difference compared to previous year.

– Poverty rate for those with a high school diploma but no college degree was down from 13.3 to 12.7 percent from 2016 to 2017.

– Poverty rate among those with  some college but no degree was down from 9.4 to 8.8 percent from 2016 to 2017.

  Poverty rate and number of poor people rose in just one group which was people with a bachelor’s degree. People with a least a bachelor’s degree saw their poverty rate rising from 4.5 to 4.8 percent. The number of such people rose from 3.3 to 3.7 million. These people were 35 percent of all the people in the 25 and older age group and 16.5 percent of the poor people in the same age group.

Income to Poverty Ratio

Income to poverty ratio measures the depth of poverty. It is reported as a percentage and compares income with the applicable threshold. So, if a  family’s income to poverty ratio is 125%, its income is 25% above its poverty threshold and if 75% then 25% below its threshold. The difference between a family or an individual’s income and their poverty threshold expressed in dollars is the income deficit or surplus. Poverty rate shows the proportion of people under the poverty threshold. Poverty rate and income to poverty ratio describe the state of a person or family’s economic well being.

Income to poverty ratio 0.50 -> below 50 percent of poverty.

1.25 -> below 125 percent of poverty.

1.50 -> below 150 percent of poverty.

2.00 -> below 200 percent of poverty.

18.5 million people in US in 2017 reported their income to poverty ratio 0.50 or family income below one half of their poverty threshold. They were 5.7 percent of the entire population and 46.7 percent of all poor people.  54 million or 16.7% reported their income to poverty ratio 1.25  or family income  below125 percent of their poverty threshold. 21 percent had family income under 150 percent threshold and 29.7 percent under 200 percent.

Average income deficit for families living in poverty was $10,819 in 2017, statistically not significantly different from 2016 figures.

– Average income deficit was higher for the families with a  female householder than those with married couples. $3,391 versus $2,817.

.Sources

Fontenot, Kayla, Jessica Semega, and Melissa Kollar, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-263, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017.

[ https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2018/demo/p60-263.pdf ]

Abhijeet Pratap

I have studied Marketing and English Literature and like to write on topics in Business management, Marketing, literature, latest technologies and other areas. I also like to spend my time learning coding.