Thursday, September 18, 2014

Overview of Latest Poverty Report

The Census Bureau just released its latest report on income and poverty in America and this is the  picture that it painted:

For the first time in 3 years, poverty has moved down from 15 percent of our population to 14.5%.  While this drop in the rate is positive, it still means that the number of Americans in poverty -- 45.3 million -- is at record levels when looking back 54 years to 1959.  It also means that -- compared to 2012's 48.8 million in poverty -- 3.5 million Americans were able to climb back out and stay there.

Then, there's median incomes:

Overall, incomes still haven't returned to pre-recession levels; despite it now being 5 years past the end of the recession.  While there was a small uptick in overall incomes, the buying power of the average American is still lagging and this is probably why the recovery has been so slow. Hurt the most since the recession, were Asians, with incomes falling from the mid-$70,000's to the current $67,065.  Additionally, Asians were the only racial component to continue to drop in incomes.  All other races saw some, but small, increases.

Finally, there's a part of this report that is seldom revealed because it doesn't fit the liberal view in America that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer.  In 2013, 30.9% of those who were in poverty from the period of 2007 to 2013 (just 5 years), elevated themselves out of poverty.  At the same time, 32.2% of those who were in the top 20% of incomes fell out of that top spot.  This is consistent with the fact that, in this country, most people rise out of poverty in just 10 years and, similarly, most rich lose much of their wealth in a similar amount of time.  This income mobility for the poor is a real form of positive income redistribution that rarely occurs in any other county.  At the same time, the fact that 32.2% of the richest drop in wealth in just five years definitely refutes the long-time progressive argument that the rich only get richer. 


Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013:

Poverty: 2000 to 2012:

No comments: