Small Improvements in Poverty Rate, Median Income: Reactions to the 2018 Census Data
On 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.
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U.S. Census Bureau
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
New York Times: “Median U.S. Household Income Increased in 2017”
Wall Street Journal: “Median Household Income Rose 1.8% in 2017, Census Bureau Figures Show”
Philadelphia Inquirer [Editorial]: “Numbers on poverty don’t show the full reality of its impact”
Reactions & Analysis
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 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”