U.S. Household Income Rises For 3rd Straight Year

by Ike Obudulu Posted on September 12th, 2018

Washington D.C., USA : U.S. Median household income was $61,400 in 2017, an increase in real terms of 1.8 percent from the 2016 median of $60,300. This is the third consecutive annual increase in median
household income, Census Bureau Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance data released on Wednesday show.

Median household income was $61,400 in 2017 is the highest median household income on record

The poverty rate dipped to 12.3 percent, relatively unchanged from 2016.

The 2017 real median earnings of all male workers increased 3.0 percent from 2016 to $44,400, while real median earnings for their female counterparts ($31,600) saw no statistically significant change between 2016 and 2017

The number of workers with earnings increased by 1.7 million between 2016 and 2017. The number of individuals who worked full-time, year-round increased by 2.4 million.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate in 2017 was 13.9 percent. This is not statistically different from the 2016 SPM rate of 14.0 percent.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire calendar year was 8.8 percent, or 28.5 million people. The uninsured rate and number of uninsured in 2017 were not statistically different from 2016.

Despite the 1.8 percent rise in the median household income last year from 2016, when Americans earned $60,309, it was not as impressive as the growth in the previous two years. The median income, adjusted for inflation, is the point at which half of the households surveyed have income below that number and half above it.

The new data also shows the rate of Americans with health insurance — and more people are covered, the Census Bureau found.

Nearly a million more people have some type of health insurance, mostly because of provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

About 9.1 percent of the population went without health insurance in 2015, and that number fell to 8.8 percent in 2016 and remained relatively unchanged in 2017, when about 28.5 million people didn’t have coverage.

Note that the data for 2013 and beyond reflect the implementation of the redesigned income questions. Income rounded to nearest $100.

Military health care includes TRICARE and CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs) as well as care provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the military

Data are based on the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). CPS ASEC is the official source of national poverty estimates. Official poverty estimates are calculated in accordance with OMB Statistical

In 2010, before the Affordable Care Act went into effect, 16.3 percent of the population went without health insurance. The majority of those insured had private coverage last year as opposed to one provided by the government.

Census-compiled income, poverty and health insurance rates are used to gauge the economic well-being of the nation and remain tools for lawmakers in deciding policy.

The overall economy has strengthened in the decade since the Great Recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009 and saw the shedding of millions of full-time jobs and stagnation of American workers’ wages.

This year, the national unemployment rate has hovered around an 18-year low, and was at 3.9 percent in August.

H. Luke Shaefer, the director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, said the Obama administration helped to put in place policies that cushioned the blow of the financial markets’ collapse, including a stimulus package and the extension of unemployment insurance. The economy has improved steadily since 2014, when the median household income was $54,398, according to the census.

The effects of the Trump administration’s sweeping tax bill in late 2017 was lauded by Republicans as a way to boost business and help wages go up. House Speak Paul Ryan, R- Wis., said a typical family would see a $2,059 tax cut this year.

Shaefer said it’s still too early to tell what kind of effect tax cuts will have on workers’ wages.

“We had a really bad recession and now we’re having a really long recovery,” he added. “We reached down to the bottom, and now we’re finally seeing a turn around.”

Author

Ike Obudulu

Ike Obudulu

Versatile Certified Fraud Examiner, Chartered Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor with an MBA in Finance And Investments who has both worked for and consulted with some of the world's largest companies on main street and wall street in over 20 countries, Ike brings his extensive reporting and investigations experience to bear on his role as Chief Editor.
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