Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011September 12, 2012 - The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2011, median household income declined, the poverty rate was not statistically different from the previous year and the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased.
Real median household income in the United States in 2011 was $50,054, a 1.5 percent decline from the 2010 median and the second consecutive annual drop.
The nation's official poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty. After three consecutive years of increases, neither the poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty were statistically different from the 2010 estimates.
The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 50.0 million in 2010 to 48.6 million in 2011, as did the percentage without coverage - from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.
These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2012 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC):
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
Health Insurance Coverage
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
Supplemental Poverty Measure
The poverty estimates released today compare the official poverty thresholds to money income before taxes, not including the value of noncash benefits. The Census Bureau's statistical experts, with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in consultation with other appropriate agencies and outside experts, have developed a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) to serve as an additional indicator of economic well-being by incorporating additional items such as tax payments and work expenses in its family resource estimates. It does not replace the official poverty measure and will not be used to determine eligibility for government programs.
Both the Census Bureau and the interagency technical working group which helped develop the SPM consider the measure to be a work in progress and expect that there will be improvements to the statistic over time. See Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011 for more information. Last November, the Census Bureau published the first set of estimates for the SPM. SPM estimates for 2011 will be published in November 2012.
State and Local Estimates from the American Community Survey
Next week, the Census Bureau will release single-year estimates for 2011 of median household income, poverty and health insurance coverage for all states and counties, places and other geographic units with populations of 65,000 or more from the American Community Survey (ACS), along with estimates for numerous social, economic and housing characteristics including language, education, the commute to work, employment, mortgage status and rent. Businesses use the ACS to create jobs, plan for the future, establish new business and grow our economy. Because the ACS provides a wide range of important statistics on housing, social and economic characteristics for all communities in the country, governments at all levels use the ACS for policy making and to determine where to provide services.
The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement is subject to sampling and nonsampling errors. All comparisons made in the report have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted.
For additional information on the source of the data and accuracy of the estimates for the CPS, visit <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/p60_243sa.pdf>.