Middle class income in the US tops $59000, a 3.2 percent jump

Posted September 13, 2017

Information released by the U.S. Census Bureau today shows a more than 3 percent increase in the median household income. Real median incomes for family and non-family households were up 2.7 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. However, the Census Bureau warned against making direct comparisons because of changes in its methodology, made in 2014. Since 1967, however, incomes for those in the top five percent nearly doubled, while the median income has risen by less than one third.

In fact, median income has not even caught up with its pre-recession level, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning group, which crunched the Census data to account for the change.

More than 40.6 million people in the United States were living in poverty past year, 2.5 million fewer than in 2015 and 6.0 million fewer than in 2014, the U.S. Census Bureau said in its annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage. The South and the Western regions of the USA saw the biggest income increases, while the Northeast and Midwest saw no statistically significant change at all. Half a century ago, the highest 5 percent of earners controlled just 17.2 percent of all income. Incomes rose a bit for non-Hispanic white ($65,041), Hispanic ($47,675), and black families ($39,490), but were lower than their Asian neighbors. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.

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There was a big difference in the uninsured rate between the 31 states (plus the District of Columbia) that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare and those that did not.

The number of Americans who did not have health insurance for the entire year was 28.1 million, or about 8.8 percent, a decline of 0.3 point from 2015. 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. Median income is up 3.2 percent, 9 percent remain without health insurance coverage and the percentage of Americans living below the federal poverty line is holding steady at 12.5 percent.

But medical expenses increased the number of people in poverty by 10.5 million.