Median income declined last year

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The U.S. Census releases an annual report of numerous things including financial status from the previous years' info. This year's release, covering 2011, has just been unveiled. Among other findings, the Census found poverty rates barely changed and the median income dropped, nationwide. Article resource: Census discovers median income declined last year

Falling wages depressing median income

There are jobs out there, but they are not jobs that people can support a family and live off of. That is why people are struggling so much. It is not a secret that people have been having a really hard time for a while, and there are not enough good jobs available.

Yearly household income data was just released by the U.S. Census. It showed that median income has decreased for the average family, according to NBC News, but 1.7 percent to $62,273. The average income decreased 1.5 percent from 2010 to $50,054, according to CNN. Both of those decreases are bad news.

Since 2007, there has been an 8.1 percent decrease in wages. Since 1999, there was an 8.9 percent decrease when adjusted for inflation. That was the peak year for earnings with more payday than any.

Little bit less poverty

Perhaps on a lighter note from declining median income, the Census also found that poverty, or rather the number of people estimated to be living in poverty, declined also, though only just.

About 42.6 million people live below the poverty line, which is $23,021 or less a year for a family of four. It was anticipated that there was going to be a rise in the poverty rate, but it seems that more people are able to hold down jobs than before since the poverty rate really decreased, according to CNN. The decrease changed the rate from 15.1 percent in 2010 to 15.0 percent in 2011.

Hispanic and Asian households were not in poverty as often as Caucasian and African-American households, NBC News points out.

The gender gap was unchanged, as women generally earned 77 percent of the earnings of men in 2011. Both genders, however, experienced a 2.5 percent wage drop last year.

Income inequality increasing

There were some people who did really well in 2011, though the majority of people did not. In fact, 22.3 percent of all income went to the top 5 percent of earners in the year, or people making over $186,000 a year, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2010, that number was only 21.3 percent proving that there was a 1.6 percent increase.

Income inequality is measured via the Gini index, a way for studying income inequality. It's the first time since 1993, according to NBC News, that an increase in income inequality was recorded, using that rubric.



Wall Street Journal