Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009

Posted by Hopeton on September 18, 2010

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that real median household income in the United States in 2009 was $49,777, not statistically different from the 2008 median.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2009 was 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008 — the second statistically significant annual increase in the poverty rate since 2004. There were 43.6 million people in poverty in 2009, up from 39.8 million in 2008 — the third consecutive annual increase.

Meanwhile, the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, while the percentage increased from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent over the same period.

These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC):

Income

Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)

  • Among race groups, Asian households had the highest median income in 2009. Real median income declined between 2008 and 2009 for non-Hispanic white and black households, while the changes for Asian and Hispanic-origin households were not statistically different.

Regions

  • In 2009, households in the West and Northeast had the highest median household incomes. (The apparent difference between the two regions was not statistically significant.) Real median income declined between 2008 and 2009 in the Midwest and West; the changes for the Northeast and South were not statistically significant.

Nativity

  • In 2009, households maintained by naturalized citizens had the highest median income. Native-born households and those maintained by noncitizens experienced income declines from 2008 to 2009, in real terms. The changes in the median income of all foreign-born households and households maintained by a naturalized citizen were not statistically significant. (See Table A [PDF].)

Earnings

  • In 2009, the earnings of women who worked full time, year-round were 77 percent of that for corresponding men, not statistically different from the 2008 ratio.
  • The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round rose by 2.0 percent between 2008 and 2009, from $46,191 to $47,127. For women, the corresponding increase was 1.9 percent, from $35,609 to $36,278. (The difference between the 2.0 and 1.9 percent increases was not statistically significant.)

Income Inequality

  • The change in income inequality between 2008 and 2009 was not statistically significant, as measured by shares of aggregate household income by quintiles and the Gini index. The Gini index was 0.468 in 2009. (The Gini index is a measure of household income inequality; 0 represents perfect income equality and 1 perfect inequality.)

Poverty

  • The poverty rate in 2009 was the highest since 1994, but was 8.1 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for which poverty estimates are available. The number of people in poverty in 2009 is the largest number in the 51 years for which poverty estimates are available.
  • In 2009, the family poverty rate and the number of families in poverty were 11.1 percent and 8.8 million, respectively, up from 10.3 percent and 8.1 million in 2008.
  • The poverty rate and the number in poverty increased across all types of families: married-couple families (5.8 percent and 3.4 million in 2009 from 5.5 percent and 3.3 million in 2008); female-householder-with-no-husband-present families (29.9 percent and 4.4 million in 2009 from 28.7 percent and 4.2 million in 2008) and for male-householder-no-wife-present families (16.9 percent and 942,000 in 2009 from 13.8 percent and 723,000 in 2008).
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One Response to “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009”

  1. Socket Set said

    health insurance should only be taken from reputable companies, you really don’t want to get it from fly-by-night companies `~”

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