ECONOMY -- September 17, 2013 at 11:31 AM ET
Census reports median household income, poverty level steady in 2012
Dominick Aldridga (8) stands with members of his family at a distribution point by the Food Bank of the Southern Tier Mobile Food Pantry on June 19, 2012 in Deposit, New York.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that median household income in the United States in 2012 was $51,017 and the official poverty rate was 15 percent -- 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007. Neither figure represents a statistically significant change from 2011. The decline in the percentage of people without healthcare coverage, however, was significant.
Weighted for inflation, the Office of Management and Budget defined the average poverty threshold for a family of four as $23,492. That means that 46.5 million people were living at or below the poverty line. Of all age groups, children (under age 18) were most likely to be living in poverty, with 21.8 percent of them, or 16. 1 million kids, living in poverty last year. In 2012, 263.2 million (84.6 percent) had health insurance, up from 260.2 million in 2011. Most significantly, about 400,000 fewer children under 18 went without health insurance in 2012.
The percentage of people covered under government health care -- specifically Medicare -- saw the most significant jump (from 15.2 percent in 2011 to 15.7 percent), but Medicaid still covers more people than Medicare.
Tuesday's figures come from Current Population Survey. The Census Bureau will release community-specific data from the American Community Survey Thursday