Friday, September 30, 2016

Incomes rise and poverty drops in the U.S.

I usually try not to put too much into short-term economic data, preferring long-term trends. But this news seems significant considering we are only a few years out from what was very nearly a second Depression.

The economy's slow improvement is finally showing clear dividends. The Census Bureau recently reported that 2015 was the first year since 2008 that the poverty rate fell significantly and incomes rose for most American households. According to this article, the "median household’s income in 2015 was $56,500, up 5.2 percent from the previous year — the largest single-year increase since record-keeping began in 1967."

Last year, 3.5 million Americans were able to lift themselves over the poverty line. That's a 1.2 percentage point decline in the poverty rate, the largest drop since 1999. That drops the poverty rate down to 13.5% of the population. You can read more here.