Census data shows growth in poverty, increase in number of people without health insurance
The Census Bureau released its annual report on income, poverty and health insurance last Wednesday. The data in this report is from the 2012 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) collected in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This detailed documentation of household incomes in the United States shows that even though jobs are increasing, income is falling. According to the report, in 2011, the number of workers with full-time employment rose by more than two million - a number that is still far below the pre-recession level. In addition, the number of those without health insurance has dropped slightly reduced since 2010.
Major highlights of the report include:
- Nationally, median household income fell 1.5 percent in 2011, to $50,054. That is 8.1 percent lower than 2007 before the recession. Income inequality rose 1.6 percent in 2011 from 2010 and details show that the top five percent of earners making $186,000 or more received 22.3 percent of all income in 2011, up from 21.3 percent in 2010.
- Colorado, which is still ranked eighth among the states had an median income of $58,803 in 2011 an amount that is $ 1,338 less than the median income in 2007.
- Incomes fell for the bottom four fifths of American households, while the only rise went to the top fifth. Households in the middle saw their average incomes fall by 1.7 percent and for the top 20 percent, average incomes rose 1.9 percent. Meanwhile, for the 5 percent at the very top, average incomes rose 5.1 percent.
- Median household incomes in 2011 show Asian households with the highest median income at $65,129, non-Hispanic- White households with $55,412 and $32,229 for Black households.
- There are fewer Americans living without health insurance. The uninsured fell to 48.6 million in 2011 from 50 million in 2010 and for the first time in the decade, the percentage of people with private insurance didn't fall, holding steady at 63.9 percent.
- In Colorado, the number of those without insurance rose slightly from 13 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.
- Nationwide during the same period, one third of foreign-born residents and more than 44 percent of non-citizens lacked health insurance, compared to 13.2 percent of those born in the U.S.
- 30.1 percent of Hispanics were uninsured, compared to 11.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 19.5 percent of blacks and 16.8 percent of Asians.
- There was a slight decrease in poverty nationally with 46.2 million people or 15 percent living in poverty in 2011 down from 15.1 percent in 2010 (statistically insignificant difference). Of the 26.5 million adults living in poverty in 2011, 10.3 million had jobs, though only 2.7 million worked full-time, year-round. The other 16.1 million didn't work in 2011.
- Using data from March-2010-12 population survey Colorado's poverty rate rose to an average of 12.6 percent - about three points higher than during the 2006-7 period.
- Nationwide, the poverty rate for non-Hispanic Whites was 9.8 percent in 2011, lower than the poverty rates for other racial groups. Hispanics poverty rate for 2011 was 25 percent while blacks had the highest poverty rate at 28 percent.
- For most groups, the number of people in poverty either decreased or did not show any statistically significant change between 2010 and 2011. However, far too many children (21.9 percent) in the United States still live in poverty.
We believe that poverty numbers could be higher without government assistance such as the earned income tax credit (EITC) or food stamps which are not typically calculated in the census data.
-- George Awour
Article posted on September 17, 2012