Poverty Day 2018

Small Improvements in Poverty Rate, Median Income: Reactions to the 2018 Census Data

censusOn September 12, 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual report on incomes and poverty in the United States. Last year saw a second consecutive sharp decline in the official poverty rate, with a drop from 13.5% in 2015 to 12.7% in 2016, accompanied by a surge in median household income. This year, the Census Bureau reported that the official poverty rate fell again to 12.3% in 2017. The total number of Americans living in poverty fell to 39.7 million, down sharply from the 2014 peak of 46.7 million but not a statistically significant difference from the year before. The median household income rose by 1.8 percent, to $61,372. And the proportion of uninsured Americans remained at 8.8 percent, still historically low but representing slightly more people than in 2016.

How did activists, researchers, and policymakers from across the political spectrum react to this latest round of data? We’re rounding it all up for you.

Want your organization’s response, blog, or statement added to this page? Contact our team here.

U.S. Census Bureau

Press Release

Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017

Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2017

The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2017

2017 American Community Survey

From Spotlight

Behind the Numbers: Millions Seeking a Path Out of Poverty — Lauren Bauer, Brookings Institution

Where Do We Go From Here on Child Poverty? — Angela Rachidi, American Enterprise Institute

News Coverage

New York Times: “Median U.S. Household Income Increased in 2017”

CNN: “Middle class income jumps to $61,400”

Bloomberg: “U.S. Household Incomes Rose 1.8% in 2017; Disparities Persisted”

Wall Street Journal: “Median Household Income Rose 1.8% in 2017, Census Bureau Figures Show”

Washington Post: “Middle-class income hit an all-time high of $61,372 last year, U.S. Census says”

Reuters: “U.S. median household income rises 1.8 pct in 2017 – Census”

HuffPost: “As Trump Boasts About Economy, New Data Shows Poverty Rate Virtually Unchanged”

Philadelphia Inquirer [Editorial]: “Numbers on poverty don’t show the full reality of its impact”

MarketWatch: “American median household income climbs for third straight year”

USA Today: “Median U.S. household income rises 1.8% to record $61,400 in 2017”

NBC News: “U.S. household income increases for third straight year to $61,372, census data show”

CNBC: “US median household income climbs to new high of $61,372”

Reactions & Analysis

White House: “Americans Are Better Off in 2016 than 2017, Even Using Numbers That Understate Progress”

American Enterprise Institute: “Census data released today show continued gains for middle-class Americans and little evidence of rising income inequality”

Brookings Institution: “Which places made progress against poverty in 2017?”

Carsey School of Public Policy: “Declines in Child Poverty Continue in 2017”

Center for American Progress“STATEMENT: New Census Bureau Data Show Too Many Everyday Families Being Left Behind in the Trump Economy, Says CAP’s Jacob Leibenluft”

Center for Law and Social Policy: “Children, Young Adults Stuck in Poverty”

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “Programs Eyed for Cuts Keep Millions from Poverty”

Child Poverty Action Group: “Despite Strong Economy, Census Data Shows That Child Poverty Remains High”

Coalition on Human Needs: “Progress Slows for People in Need and Uninsured Americans”

Economic Policy Institute: “By the Numbers: Income and Poverty, 2017”

Heritage Foundation: “New Statistics Show Decline in Poverty in Trump’s First Year”