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    September-2016
 
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Real Income Grew In 2006 But Uninsured Americans Also Rose

Reflecting the fifth year of an economic expansion, the percent of the nation in poverty fell last year, and the income of the median household grew (after inflation) by about $360, or just under one percent (0.7%).

This is one of several findings in a study of data released by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.  This is the second year of real income gains for the median household, and the first significant decline in poverty since 2000.

While both poverty and income have improved over the last few years, the Economic Policy Institute said it was disappointed that despite low unemployment and strong productivity growth, these measures of living standards have yet to recover to their levels of the previous business cycle peak in 2000. 

In that year poverty was 11.3%, compared to 12.3% in 2006, an increase in the poverty rolls of 4.9 million persons, including 1.2 million children; median household income in 2006 was $48,201, about $1,000 dollars (-2.0 %) below its 2000 level (in 2006 dollars).

In other words, economic growth over the last six years has totally bypassed the typical middle-class household.

The share of Americans without health insurance coverage once again increased, from 15.3% in 2005 to 15.8% last year, according to the figures released by the Census Bureau.

There were 47.0 million uninsured Americans in 2006, up 2.2 million since its 44.8 million level in 2005.  Since 2000, the share of the population without health coverage has increased 2.1 percentage points, an increase of 8.6 million uninsured American.

The share of Americans without health insurance coverage once again increased, from 15.3% in 2005 to 15.8% last year.  There were 47.0 million uninsured Americans in 2006, up 2.2 million since its 44.8 million level in 2005. 

Since 2000, the share of the population without health coverage has increased 2.1 percentage points, an increase of 8.6 million uninsured Americans.

These latest figures take into account all Americans, even those who chose not to purchase health insurance. 

According to the Economic Policy Institute’s lead economists, the decline in insurance coverage in this country can be attributed to declines in private coverage, particularly employment-based health insurance.

There is evidence of further unraveling of the employer-based system:, the share of persons covered through work (either their own or a family member’s employer) declined for the sixth year in a row.

Reflecting the fifth year of an economic expansion, the percent of the nation in poverty fell last year, and the income of the median household grew (after inflation) by about $360, or just under one percent (0.7%), according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. 

This is the second year of real income gains for the median household, and the first significant decline in poverty since 2000.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute – or “think tank” – that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States and around the world.

 


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