Median household income is $59039, new US Census Bureau report says

Median household income is $59039, new US Census Bureau report says

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. With that caveat in mind, Americans appear to be making only slightly more than they were in 1999, when income last peaked. But Census officials cautioned against comparing the figures because the bureau has changed its methodology over the years. It is based on interviews with 70,000 households and includes detailed data on incomes and poverty across a range of demographic groups.

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.

The median household income took a serious hit during and after the Great Recession.

The income gains were fairly broad. Overall, the story was pretty upbeat in 2016, the a year ago of President Barack Obama's term.

The 12.7 percent poverty rate represented a decrease of 0.8 percentage points from 13.5 percent in 2015, it said.

Still, the Census data is closely watched because of its comprehensive nature. Those in the median and bottom 10th percentile of earners saw their real incomes grow 5.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

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The bureau reported 40.6 million people in the United States are considered living in poverty, or 2.5 million fewer than in 2015.

The share of the public living without health insurance also saw back-to-back decreases, with another 900,000 people gaining coverage between 2015 and 2016, the Commerce Department figures showed.

And the proportion of Americans without health insurance declined to 8.8 percent, the report showed, down from 9.1 percent.

Another trouble spot can be found for full-time male workers, who saw their incomes slide a year ago.

While the median income was the highest ever recorded in a Census Bureau chart that dates to 1967, bureau officials said long-term historical comparisons should not be drawn because of changes in 2014 to the income question in the bureau's Current Population Survey. Women now make 80.5 cents to every $1 earned by men, or an increase of 1.1 percent from 2015.

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