Census: Poverty Falls Slightly in 2011, Median Family Income Drops

Only 96,000 were able to exit poverty between 2010 and 2011, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, with the percentage of people exiting poverty falling 0.1 percentage points to 15%.

Poverty was far higher than 15% among groups with certain characteristics measured by the census. For instance, the poverty rate for blacks was 27.6%, up from 27.4% in 2010. Meanwhile, hispanics had a poverty rate of 25.3%, down from 26.5% in the previous year.

Children were also hit harder by poverty than the population as a whole. The poverty rate for children under 18 was 21.4%, that figure rose to 24.5% for children under 6. For children under 18 in unrelated subfamilies, the poverty rate was 48.4%, higher than the 43.4% poverty rate for all people in unrelated subfamilies.

Poverty rate changes also varied in different regions of the country, poverty rose in both the Northeast and West by 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, poverty in the Midwest remained unchanged and fell by 0.8% in the South.

The Census, in its report "Income, Poverty and Health Insurance," noted that median family income declined by 1.7% between 2010 and 2011, with a median income of $62,273 in 2011. The percentage of people without health insurance fell from 16.3% in 2010 to 15.7% in 2011.

Samuel Weigley

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Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire