Alabama poverty rate decreasing, still way above USA average

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For data nerds, September 12 was a pretty big day - the day that the Census Bureau released its yearly statistical reports on income and poverty, and on health insurance.

The technology hub of San Francisco surpassed the nation's capital a year ago as the highest-earning large USA metropolitan area. The EPI finds that 2016 median household income is still 1.6% below 2007 levels. The lowest it has been in recent decades was 11.3% in 2000.

"Low-income Texans and Floridians suffer from the new natural disasters and must cope with them in addition to the long-standing human-made ones", he said. Income increased 2.6% for the bottom fifth of earners, 4.4% for the next lowest group and 2.8% for middle-income households. For example, a pro-immigration panel at the prestigious National Academies of Science estimated in 2016 that the huge government-imposed inflow of immigrants since 1965 has imposed a hidden 5 percent "immigration tax" on Americans' pay packets.

For instance: Households might be taking in more cash, but individual workers aren't.

Much of that increase can be attributed to the spike in commodity prices over that 10-year period, helping resource-rich regions like Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador post increases twice or three times the national average.

It was the highest income level on record, but changes to the Current Population Survey questionnaire in 2013 prevent any definitive historical comparison, census officials said. Median, inflation-adjusted earnings largely tread water. In 2007, before the financial crisis, the median income was $28,978. Half the people earn above the line, half the people earn below the line. Meanwhile, the top 20 percent averaged $209,623, compared to $196,2751 for 2015.

MCEVERS: So then who benefited from these income increases? The chart does not make distinctions by race.

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

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The chart only shows income, but not the quality of goods in the stores, such as Starbucks coffee, cheap products imported from China, high-tech music players, improved autos or better health-care.

In 2016, income gains were widely shared among people of all backgrounds, with minority groups enjoying some of the biggest boosts.

The details are provided on Table A-4, on page 49 of this PDF.

- Same-sex couples continue to report a higher median income - men at $100,707, women at $92,857 - than opposite-sex couples at $87,605.

What's Causing the Income Growth?

In fact, New Jersey ranked 43rd among states for income equality, meaning it is among the worst in the nation, said Demelza Baer, senior counsel and director of the Economic Mobility Initiative at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice.

For poverty, bureau said the rates were comparable. That also declined, but remains higher than the official poverty rate. Alabama's poverty level pre-recession was 16.6 percent. It found that Massachusetts' uninsured rate dropped in 2016, from 2.8 percent in 2015 to 2.5 percent a year ago.

Family median income for households rose 2.7% to $75,062 in 2016. The difference between the 2015 to 2016 increases in the number of men and women full-time, year-round workers was not statistically significant. More than 12 per cent of male couples reported incomes of more than $200,000, compared with 7.5 per cent of female couples and 8.4 per cent for opposite-sex couples.

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