Acton Institute Powerblog

7 Figures: Income and poverty in the U.S. (2017)

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The U.S. Census Bureau released its latest report on income and poverty in the United States today. Here are seven figures from the report you should know:

1. Real median household income of all male workers increased 3.0 percent from 2016, while real median earnings for their female counterparts saw no statistically significant change between 2016 and 2017.

2. Median household income was $61,372 in 2017, an increase in real terms of 1.8 percent from the 2016 median of $60,309.

3.The real median income of households maintained by non-Hispanic Whites ($68,145) and Hispanics ($50,486) increased 2.6 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively, between 2016 and 2017. Among the race groups, households maintained by Asians had the highest median income in 2017, $81,331

4. Median incomes were highest in the West ($67,517) and the Northeast ($66,450), followed by the Midwest ($61,136) and the South ($55,709).

5. The official poverty rate in 2017 was 12.3 percent, down 0.4 percentage points from 12.7 percent in 2016. This is the third consecutive annual decline in poverty. Since 2014, the poverty rate has fallen 2.5 percent-age points, from 14.8 percent to 12.3 percent.

6. The poverty rate for non-Hispanic Whites was 8.7 percent in 2017 with17.0 million individuals in poverty. Neither the poverty rate nor the number in poverty was statistically different from 2016. The poverty rate for non-Hispanic Whites was lower than the poverty rates for other racial groups. Non-Hispanic Whites accounted for 60.5 percent of the total population and 42.8 percent of the people in poverty in 2017. The poverty rate for Blacks was 21.2 percent in 2017, representing 9.0 million people in poverty. For Asians, the 2017 poverty rate and the number in poverty were 10.0percent and 2.0 million, respectively. Among Blacks and Asians, neither the poverty rate nor the number in poverty was statistically different from 2016. The poverty rate for Hispanics was 18.3 percent in 2017, down from 19.4 percent in 2016. In 2017, the number of Hispanics in poverty was 10.8 million, not significantly different from the number in 2016

7. In 2017, the poverty rate for males was 11.0 percent, not statistically different from 2016. The 2017 poverty rate for females was 13.6 percent, down from 14.0 percent in 2016. The poverty rate in 2017 for women aged 18 to 64 was 13.0 percent while the poverty rate for men aged 18 to 64 was 9.4 percent. The poverty rate for women aged 65 and older was 10.5 percent while the poverty rate for men aged 65 and older was 7.5 percent. For people under the age of 18, the poverty rate for girls (17.7 percent) and the poverty rate for boys were not statistically different.

Joe Carter

Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).