TheU.S. Census Bureau recently released its report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States for 2010. The report was prepared from the 2011 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the Census Bureau. The survey provides some interesting statistics on income, poverty and health insurance in the United States. The full copy of the report can be obtained from the Census Bureau.
Income in the United States
The Census Bureau reports the following informative statistics on income in the United States for 2010.
- Real Median Household Income (RMHI) was $49,445 in 2010, a 2.3% decline from $50,599 in 2009.
- Since 2007 (the year prior to the most recent recession), RMHI has declined 6.4%.
- 2010 RMHI is 7.1% below the RMHI peak that occurred in 1999 at $53,252.
- 2010 family RMHI declined by 1.2% from 2009 to $61,544.
- 2010 non-family households RMHI declined by 3.9% from 2009 to $29,730.
According to the Census Bureau, real household income estimates are based on money income before taxes, and do not include the value of non cash benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, public housing and employer provided fringe benefits. As would be expected, the income statistics show the effects of the most recent recession.
Poverty in the United States
The Census Bureau provides the following information regarding poverty in the United States. Alarmingly, these statistics show that a record number of Americans are living in poverty.
- The official poverty rate in 2010 was estimated at 15.1% of the population, up from 14.3% in 2009, and is the highest rate since 1993.
- Since 2007, the poverty rate has increased by 2.6 percentage points from 12.5%.
- In 2010, 46.2 million people were in poverty, up from 43.6 million in 2009 (the fourth consecutive annual increase) and is the largest number in 52 years of recordkeeping.
- Poverty rates by Race:
- Poverty rates by Age:
The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine poverty. If a family’s money income is less than the applicable threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered in poverty. The Census Bureau publishes a table of weighted average poverty thresholds by family size to provide an idea of the “poverty line” that it determines by using 48 different thresholds. The table is presented below:
For example, the poverty level for a family of four would be at an income level of $22,314, or less.
Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S.
The Census Bureau’s 2010 report provides the following statistics on health insurance coverage in the United States during 2010.
- In 2010, the percentage of people without health insurance was 16.3%, about the same as 2009.
- The number of uninsured people increased to 49.9 million in 2010, up from 49.0 million in 2009.
- The number of people with health insurance increased to 256.2 million in 2010 from 255.3 million in 2009.
- 64.0%, or 195.9 million people are covered by private health insurance plans.
- The percentage of people covered by government health insurance increased to 31.0% in 2010 from 30.6% in 2009 (95.0 million people for 2010 versus 93.2 million people in 2009).
- The percentage and number of people covered by Medicaid in 2010 was 15.9% and 48.6 million people.
- The percentage and number of people covered by Medicare was 14.5% and 44.3 million people.
- In 2010, 9.8% of children under age 18 were without health insurance (7.3 million children).
- The uninsured rate for children in poverty was 15.4%.
- The percentages and numbers of uninsured by Race for 2010 were:
The U.S. Census Bureau develops these statistics to obtain an improved understanding of the economic well being of American families and how federal policies will affect those living in poverty. It’s quite alarming to note that even with all of the money that the federal government spends on social programs that America’s poverty rate continues to grow and is the highest since 1993.
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