Thursday, 21 September, 2017

US Census Bureau Records Improvements In Income, Poverty And Health Coverage

Manitobans Carrying Heavier Wallets These Days: StatsCan Windsor Has Highest Rate of Kids Living In Low Income Homes
Debra Rodriguez | 14 September, 2017, 01:44

Because this is the second straight year that there was a decline in the poverty rate, this new data suggests that Americans were actually in a position of increasing financial strength before Trump took office. Among Latinos, it rose to 4.3 percent to $47,675.

Women with full time year-round jobs earned about $41,500, about 80% of what men make.

Children living in resource-rich Alberta, where commodity prices fuelled some of the largest gains in median incomes nationwide, were less likely to live in low-income conditions than anywhere else in Canada - only 12.8 per cent of kids there were living in poverty. For example, if a billionaire were to move into a middle-class neighborhood, median income - the exact midpoint of households in the area, at which half earn above and half earn below - would remain basically the same. Private coverage also increased as companies hired more workers and offered better benefits.

A tightening labor market has boosted many Americans' earnings and helped lift families out of poverty by providing more workers with jobs and forcing some employers to raise pay to attract and retain employees.

In a sense, those last two figures tell the broader story of the Census report: The American economy made some vital progress in 2016, but is still far from overcoming the defects inherent to its rampant inequality. Median, inflation-adjusted earnings largely tread water.

The Atlantic provinces and Quebec had the lowest median incomes in the country in 2015, just as in 2005, although there were wide variations in Quebec.

Fewer people are waiting in food lines these days.

California's poverty ranking jumps to No.1, when the Census Bureau factors in cost of living.

"What good is health insurance coverage if you can't get access to medical care?" he said.

The strong gains will probably sharpen the political debate between President Donald Trump, who is pressing to overhaul the nation's economic policies, and Democrats who now have more ammunition to argue that the changes Trump seeks would mess with success.

The details are provided on Table A-4, on page 49 of this PDF.

American incomes rose significantly for a second year in a row in 2016, bouncing back after the lost decade that followed the last recession. The supplemental poverty rate in 2016 was 13.9 percent, a decrease from 14.5 percent in 2015.

The Liberal government's new child benefit was created to slash child poverty rates further, particularly in places like Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which had the highest provincial child poverty rate at 22.2 per cent. It was 11.3% in 2000, ahead of the 2001 recession, and 12.5% in 2007.

The percentage of Americans with health insurance also dropped in 2016, to 8.8% from 9.1% in 2015.

The number of Americans living in poverty fell to 40.6 million from 43.1 million, lowering the poverty rate to 12.7% from 13.5% and placing it just marginally above the prerecession level.

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