American families finally earn more than they did in 1999
13 September, 2017, 00:41
Median household incomes were higher in 2016 than ever before, surpassing a record set almost two-decades ago in 1999, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday.
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 latest household income figure is the highest ever reported by the Census Bureau - eclipsing the peak of $58,665 reached in 1999.
However, according to Renwick, the Census Bureau cautions against making comparisons to income figures from before 2014 due to a change in how the data were collected. The median is the point at which half the households fall below and half are above.
The poorest US households, by comparison, have a smaller share of income than ever before.
The bureau said changes in incomes in households in the Northeast were "not statistically significant", while the poverty rate in the Northeast decreased from 12.4 percent in 2015 to 10.8 percent in 2016.
Still, male workers - one of President Trump's core group of supporters - earned less last year than they did a year earlier, while income inequality shows no signs of abating, according to the latest Census data. Americans in the top 5 percent took home more than $375,000 in income a year ago, compared with just $12,943 for those in the bottom quintile.
The income gains were fairly broad.
The number of poor decreased for most demographic groups with the exception of adults over 65 years old, the only population group that posted an increase in the number living in poverty, it added.
The income gains reflect mostly a rise in the number of Americans with jobs and in people working full time, the agency said.
There are fewer people living in poverty, with 12.7 percent in 2016 compared to 13.5 percent in 2015. Basically, the good news from last year's income report, which was the first really positive sign in almost a decade, may be turning into a trend. Real median incomes for family and non-family households were up 2.7 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.
The gap between the earnings of women and men narrowed slightly in 2016, with women now earning just more than 80 cents for every dollar men earn.
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