American families finally earn more than they did in 1999

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New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show California has the country's highest poverty rate, with almost one in five residents facing economic hardship when factoring in living costs such as housing.

About 20,400 people in Clark County were living below the poverty level last year, down from about 27,400 people were living below the poverty line five years ago, the survey said.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Kelly. Median household income increased by 5.2 percent, the largest jump since record keeping began in 1967.

The rust belt regions of Ohio, Michigan and Upstate New York are home to 11 of the nation's 25 poorest cities, according to new data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the second consecutive annual increase since 2007, the year before the Great Recession hit. The national unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in August, just about the same as pre-recession levels. And get this, Kelly; they're at the same level they were at the end of the tech boom in 1999. But it's important for observers not to conflate record median income with record living standards. Looking at poverty patterns in the USA from the early 1960s to 2016, the researchers found contradictory results to studies that have shown little improvement in poverty over time or that antipoverty measures have been ineffective.

Median earning of full-time, year-round workers, 15 years and older, 1960 to 2016. For another, the slightest tweak to the policies that affect middle class finances could tip millions of Americans out of their comfortable income tax bracket into the vast gulf on the other side. Yet she added that the census report shows that American households have made significant economic progress in 2015 and 2016.

What really matters for Americans is that incomes aren't only going up, they're also outpacing inflation. Resource-rich parts of that province posted above-average gains in income; areas with higher-than-average growth in seniors or manufacturing bases were left behind.

To get a clearer picture of income inequality across US households, consider adjusting your choice of statistical measures. The Census changed its questions in 2014 in order to capture more sources of income, so officials don't want to make comparisons over longer periods of time. Some 40.6 million of people were in poverty previous year, 2.5 million fewer than in 2015. Again, a growing economy and job creation helped lift families above that number.

Canada's most populous province watched its median income barely move over the last decade, its 3.8 per cent rise ranking a dismal last.

YDSTIE: Yes, it did.

"There is a lot of data that tells us there are particular demographic groups that, notwithstanding rising (income) trends, remain persistently at risk for lower income".

"Tuesday's Census report comes as the president and congressional Republicans are advancing a cruel policy agenda that would decimate key anti-poverty programs, like federal food assistance and refundable tax credits", Bouman says.

At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased. What's the news there?

Statistics Canada data released Wednesday suggests that while incomes increased by 12.2 per cent between 2005 and 2015, inflation grew by 18.9 per cent. That's a slight improvement.

The bureau also said 28.1 million people in the United States, or 8.8 percent, lacked health insurance coverage in 2016 compared with 29 million, or 9.1 percent, in 2015.

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