Real median household income in the United
States climbed between 2005 and 2006, reaching $48,200, according to a report
released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive year
that income has risen.
Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty
rate declined for the first time this decade, from 12.6 percent in 2005 to
12.3 percent in 2006. There were 36.5 million people in poverty in 2006, not
statistically different from 2005. The number of people without health insurance
coverage rose from 44.8 million (15.3 percent) in 2005 to 47 million (15.8
percent) in 2006.
These findings are contained in the Income,
Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006 report [PDF]. The data were compiled from information collected in the 2007 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC).
Also released today were income, poverty and
earnings data from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) for states and
metropolitan areas, counties, cities and American Indian/Alaska Native areas
of 65,000 population or more and all congressional districts. (This year marks
the first time that the population in group quarters — such as prisons,
college dorms, military barracks and nursing homes — is included, so
the 2006 estimates are not fully comparable to the 2005 estimates.)
Current Population Survey
(Provides primarily national-level statistics)
The 2007 Current Population Survey Annual Social
and Economic Supplement reveals the following results for the nation:
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only)
- Real median household income of white households rose 1.1 percent between
2005 and 2006 (from $50,100 to $50,700), the first real increase in annual
household income for this group since 1999. Asian households had the highest
median income at $64,200, followed by non-Hispanic white ($52,400), Hispanic
($37,800) and black ($32,000) households. Income levels remained statistically
unchanged between 2005 and 2006 for each of these groups.
- Between 2005 and 2006, real median incomes of households in the nation’s
four regions were statistically unchanged. In 2006, the Northeast and West
had the highest household incomes at $52,100 and $52,200, respectively,
followed by the Midwest ($47,800) and South ($43,900). (The apparent difference
between household incomes of the Northeast and West was not statistically
Nativity and Earnings
- Real median income rose by 1.3 percent to $49,100 in 2006 for native-born
households and was statistically unchanged for foreign-born households ($43,900).
- In 2006, women earned 77 cents for each dollar earned by men, statistically
unchanged from 2005. Real median earnings of both men and women who worked
full time, year-round declined between 2005 and 2006. The median earnings
for men fell 1.1 percent to $42,300; for women, the corresponding numbers
were 1.2 percent and $32,500. (The apparent difference between the decline
in the earnings of men and women was not statistically significant.)
- About 9.8 percent (7.7 million) of the nation’s families were in
poverty in 2006. Married-couple families had a poverty rate of 4.9 percent
(2.9 million), compared with 28.3 percent (4.1 million) for female-householder,
no-husband-present families and 13.2 percent (671,000) for those with a
male householder and no wife present. The poverty rate for these types of
families in poverty showed no statistically significant change between 2005
- As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation
using the Consumer Price Index, the weighted average poverty threshold for
a family of four in 2006 was $20,614; for a family of three, $16,079; for
a family of two, $13,167; and for unrelated individuals, $10,294.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting a single race only)
- For Hispanics, 20.6 percent were in poverty in 2006, down from 21.8 percent
in 2005. Poverty rates remained statistically unchanged for non-Hispanic
whites (8.2 percent), blacks (24.3 percent) and Asians (10.3 percent) in
- For people 65 and older, the poverty rate was lower (9.4 percent) in
2006 than in 2005 (10.1 percent). For children younger than 18 (17.4 percent)
and people 18 to 64 (10.8 percent), the poverty rate remained statistically
- The number in poverty declined for seniors 65 and older ? from 3.6 million
in 2005 to 3.4 million in 2006. For children under 18 (12.8 million) and
people 18 to 64 (20.2 million), the numbers in poverty remained statistically
unchanged in 2006.
- Among the native-born population, 11.9 percent, or 30.8 million, were
in poverty in 2006. Both the poverty rate and number in poverty were statistically
unchanged from 2005.
- Among the foreign-born population, the poverty rate decreased from 16.5
percent in 2005 to 15.2 percent in 2006. The number in poverty was statistically
unchanged at 5.7 million in 2006.
- In 2006, the South continued to have the highest poverty rate at 13.8
percent. The other three regions had poverty rates that were not statistically
different from one another: 11.5 percent in the Northeast, 11.2 percent
in the Midwest and 11.6 percent in the West.
- The West was the only region to show a statistical change in the number
and percentage in poverty: 8 million and 11.6 percent in 2006, down from
8.6 million and 12.6 percent in 2005.
Health Insurance Coverage
- The number of uninsured children increased from 8 million (10.9 percent)
in 2005 to 8.7 million (11.7 percent) in 2006.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting a single race only)
- The number of uninsured, as well as the rate without health insurance,
remained statistically unchanged in 2006 for non-Hispanic whites (at 21.2
million or 10.8 percent). For blacks, the number and percentage increased,
from 7 million in 2005 to 7.6 million and from 19 percent in 2005 to 20.5
percent. The number of uninsured Asians remained statistically unchanged,
at 2 million in 2006, while their uninsured rate declined to 15.5 percent
in 2006, from 17.2 percent in 2005.
- The number and percentage of uninsured Hispanics increased from 14 million
(32.3 percent) in 2005 to 15.3 million (34.1 percent).
- Based on a three-year average (2004-2006), 31.4 percent of people who
reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage.
The three-year average for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders
was 21.7 percent.
- Between 2005 and 2006, the number of U.S.-born residents who were uninsured
increased from 33 million to 34.4 million, and their uninsured rate increased
from 12.8 percent in 2005 to 13.2 percent. The number of foreign-born who
were uninsured rose from 11.8 million in 2005 to 12.6 million, and their
rate was statistically unchanged at 33.8 percent in 2006.
- The Midwest had the lowest uninsured rate in 2006, at 11.4 percent, followed
by the Northeast (12.3 percent), the West (17.9 percent) and the South (19
percent). The Northeast and South experienced increases in their uninsured
rates — their 2005 rates were 11.7 percent and 18 percent, respectively.
- Rates for 2004-2006 using a three-year average show that Texas (24.1
percent) had the highest percentage of uninsured. The rates for Minnesota,
Hawaii, Iowa, Wisconsin and Maine were lower than the rates of the other
45 states and the District of Columbia. The rates for these five states
were not statistically different from one another.
- Fifteen states had an uninsured rate that was statistically higher than
the national rate of 15.3 percent, while 29 states and the District of Columbia
had rates statistically lower than the U.S. average. Six states had rates
that were not statistically different from the national average.
American Community Survey
(Provides state, county and city statistics)
- Among states, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut had the highest median
household incomes in 2006, while Mississippi and West Virginia had the lowest.
- Median household incomes in 18 states and the District of Columbia were
above the U.S. median in 2006, while 29 states were below it.
- Real median household income rose between 2005 and 2006 in 15 states and
the District of Columbia, while no states experienced a decline. Seven states
that experienced increases were in the West (Arizona, California, Nevada,
New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington), six were in the South (Florida,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina and Texas) and two were in
the Midwest (Kansas and South Dakota).
- For counties with 250,000 or more people, Fairfax and Loudoun counties
in Virginia had the highest 2006 median household incomes. Cameron and Hidalgo
counties in Texas had the lowest.
- For counties with a population between 65,000 and 249,999 people, Hunterdon
County, N.J., and Arlington County, Va., had some of the highest 2006 median
household incomes while St. Landry Parish, La.; Apache County, Ariz.; Robeson
County, N.C.; and McKinley County, N.M., had some of the lowest.
- For large cities (250,000 or more people), Plano, Texas, and San Jose,
Calif., had the highest median household incomes, whereas Cleveland; Miami;
Buffalo, N.Y.; and Detroit had the lowest.
- For smaller cities (65,000 to 249,999 people), Yorba Linda, Calif., had
the highest median household income, while Youngstown, Ohio; Muncie, Ind.;
Camden, N.J.; Brownsville, Texas; Syracuse, N.Y.; College Station, Texas;
and Lawrence, Mass., had some of the lowest incomes.
- Maryland, New Hampshire and Connecticut had some of the lowest poverty
rates in 2006. Mississippi and the District of Columbia had some of the
- Among counties with 250,000 or more people in 2006, Hidalgo and Cameron
counties in Texas had the highest proportions of people with income below
the poverty level. On the other hand, Douglas County, Colo., and Loudoun
County, Va., had among the lowest.
- In smaller counties — populations between 65,000 and 249,999 ? McKinley
County, N.M., had the highest proportion of people in poverty in 2006 at
- Large cities (250,000 or more population) with some of the highest poverty
rates were Detroit; Buffalo, N.Y.; Cincinnati; Cleveland; Miami; and St.
Louis. The lowest percentage of people in poverty was in Plano, Texas.
- Among the smaller cities (65,000 to 249,999 population), Brownsville,
Texas; College Station, Texas; Camden, N.J.; and Edinburg, Texas, had some
of the highest poverty rates. Meanwhile, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Allen,
Texas; Yorba Linda, Calif.; Pleasonton, Calif.; Newton, Mass.; Flower Mound,
Texas; Naperville, Ill.; and Chino Hills, Calif., had some of the lowest
- New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland had median earnings
above $50,000 for men that worked full time, year-round in 2006. Connecticut,
Maryland, New Jersey and the District of Columbia were the only states or
state equivalents where median earnings for women who worked full time,
year-round were above $40,000.
- In each of the 50 states, women had lower median earnings than men in
2006. However, in the District of Columbia, there was no statistical difference
between the earnings of men and women.
Note that estimates from the CPS-ASEC may
not match the estimates from the ACS because of differences in the questionnaires,
data collection methodology, reference period, processing procedures, etc.
Both surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling errors. All comparisons
made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant
at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted.
For additional information on the CPS data,
For additional information on the ACS data, visit <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/Accuracy/Accuracy1.htm>.