Census Bureau: Household Income Inequality Increases
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, September 16, 2012
Can anyone say “Banksters”?
Highlights From Census Report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance
September 12, 2012, 11:00 AM, By Ben Casselman
Inequality rose. Income inequality, as measured by the Gini index, rose 1.6% in 2011 from 2010, the first annual increase since 1993. Other measures of inequality also increased. The top 5% of earners—those making $186,000 or more—received 22.3% of all income in 2011, up from 21.3% in 2010.
Urban residents took the biggest hit to income. Households in principal cities saw their inflation-adjusted income decline by 3.7% in 2011, versus a 2.2% decline for those living in metropolitan areas (including both cities and suburbs). Incomes for those living outside of metropolitan areas were broadly flat. But country dwellers have the lowest median incomes, at $40,527, while suburbanites had the highest, at $57,277.
Jobs are increasing, but pay is falling. The number of people with full-time, year-round jobs rose by more than 2 million in 2011, although it’s still well short of the pre-recession level. But the inflation-adjusted earnings of such workers fell by 2.5%
Poverty declined slightly. There were 46.2 million people living in poverty in 2011, for an official poverty rate of 15%. That’s down slightly—and statistically insignificantly—from 15.1% in 2011, after three straight years of increases. The poverty line for a family of four was $23,021 in 2011.
Two-fifths of the poor had jobs. Of the 26.5 million Americans 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.
Fewer people are living without health insurance. The ranks of the uninsured fell to 48.6 million in 2011 from 50 million in 2010. For the first time in the past decade, the percentage of people with private insurance didn’t fall, holding steady at 63.9%.
Immigrants were much less likely to have health insurance. One third of foreign-born residents—and more than 44% of non-citizens—lacked health insurance in 2011, compared to 13.2% of those born in the U.S. 30.1% of Hispanics were uninsured, compared to 11.1% of non-Hispanic whites, 19.5% of blacks and 16.8% of Asians.