Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Reports Highlight Strong Economy

Staff Report

Friday, September 13th, 2019

On Tuesday, September 10, the U.S. Census Bureau released its 2018 annual Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States reports. The reports detailed the strengthening economic picture for Americans in 2018 as incomes grew and poverty fell to the lowest level since 2001. Women in particular benefited, as they gained 1.7 million full-time jobs between 2017 and 2018.


The Wall Street Journal: Freeman: Americans Get Richer

“The great news of the day arrives in a report from the Census Bureau: ‘The official poverty rate in 2018 was 11.8%, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from 2017. This is the fourth consecutive annual decline in the national poverty rate. In 2018, for the first time in 11 years, the official poverty rate was significantly lower than 2007, the year before the most recent recession. The number of people in poverty in 2018 was 38.1 million, 1.4 million fewer people than 2017.’ … More jobs, higher incomes, less poverty and more choice in insurance are all signs of an improving society.”

Reuters: Women gained in income and jobs in 2018, U.S. Census data shows

“Women are landing more full-time jobs, bringing in bigger paychecks and rising out of poverty, according to U.S. Census data released on Tuesday.”

The Associated Press: US household income finally matches 1999 peak; poverty drops, new Census figures show

“Income for the median U.S. household last year finally matched its previous peak set in 1999 after growing at the slowest annual pace since 2014… The Census Bureau says that median household income rose 0.9% in 2018 to an inflation-adjusted $63,179 from $62,626 in 2017. The poverty rate fell to 11.8%, the lowest annual level since 2001. That improvement reflects increased income over the past several years for many workers in low-wage jobs.”

American Enterprise Institute: Three charts based on today’s Census report show that the US middle-class is shrinking…. because they’re moving up

“Bottom Line: As can be seen in the visualization above, America’s middle class did start largely disappearing in the 1970s, but it was because they were moving up to higher-income groups, not down into a lower-income category. And that movement was so significant that between 1967 and 2018, the share of American households earning incomes above $100,000 more than tripled, from 9.7% to 30.4%. Many prominent people … claim that American’s middle class has been declining, disappearing, collapsing, losing ground, vanished, stagnated, etc. But the Census Bureau data on household income over time displayed above demonstrate conclusively that those assertions are incredibly and verifiably wrong.”

CNBC: The economic numbers are continuing to defy the recession hype

“The labor market and the broader economy are both better than they look on the surface, and in fact have been mostly defying the continual patter of recession expectations.”