U.S. househould income rises for first time since recession

The latest estimate of poverty from the Census Bureau is similar to their estimate of income: the good news is that poverty dropped substantially in 2015, but the bad news is that we still have a ways to go before we reach pre-recession levels.

Median income: The jump in median income was one of the largest annual increases Census has recorded.

The 5.2 percent increase was the largest, in percentage terms, ever recorded by the bureau since it began tracking median income statistics in the 1960s.

Even with a 7.3% gain from its post-recession low of $52,666 in 2012, median income was still 2.4% below its inflation-adjusted peak of $57,909 in 1999.

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The percentage of people without health insurance for all of 2015 was 9.1 percent, down 1.3 percentage points from the previous year. So far this year, healthcare providers and social assistance groups have brought in more than $1.2 trillion of revenue, up 5.9% from the same six-month period in 2015. That pushed the 2015 poverty rate down to 13.5 per cent from 14.8 per cent in 2014. The poverty rate decreased for all three major groups. Today's figures indicate that middle-class families are finally seeing income growth, but that this broadly shared growth will need to continue in order to make up for years of growing inequality. Some 3.3 million more Americans were working full-time, year-round, pushing up median income. The rate was at 12.5% in 2007, before the Great Recession hit. The number of Americans living in poverty comes out at about 13.5 percent of the population, which is 1.2 percentage points lower than in 2014.

The Census Bureau also released an alternate poverty measure that takes into account various government benefits and expenses not captured by the official poverty rate. Overall, more than 40 million Americans are still in poverty, which means that more than 40 million Americans are struggling every day just to pay for food, rent or other necessities. There were 43.1 million people in poverty past year, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014.

The uninsured rate has dropped as millions of Americans gained coverage under Obamacare.

'The three key indicators of well-being. all moved decisively in the right direction in 2015 - the first time that has occurred in almost two decades, ' Robert Greenstein, president of the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said in statement. Some 27.3 million people lacked health coverage, according to the National Health Interview Survey, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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