Household income in 2015 grew at fastest rate on record

Household income in 2015 grew at fastest rate on record

Household income in 2015 grew at fastest rate on record

After years of stagnant income, American families are at last catching a break.

Income in the median US household peaked in 1999 at $57,909, the bureau says.

Last year's 5.2% annual gain in median incomes is the largest jump since the Census Bureau began releasing such data in 1967. More Americans are working, more have health insurance, incomes are rising, poverty is falling. The poverty rate fell to 13.5 percent from 14.8 percent in 2014, it said.

Income disparities "have become so pronounced that America's top 10 percent now average almost nine times as much income as the bottom 90 percent", and have been growing in recent years, according to research conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank based out of Washington, D.C.

The US Census Bureau in its report said 13.5 per cent of Americans lived in poverty in 2015, a reduction of 1.2 per cent from 2014.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Plus, this was the first annual increase for non-Hispanic white and Black households since 2007, according to the Census.

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In another encouraging sign, the number of residents without health insurance dropped to 29 million a year ago from 33 million in 2014.

Income inequality, however, remained at the same level as 2014.

The Census Bureau also released an alternate poverty measure that takes into account various government benefits and expenses not captured by the official poverty rate.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who gave Hillary Clinton a strong challenge for the Democratic nomination, have tried to appeal to voters in part by capitalizing on weak wage gains.

"Real median household income in 2015 was 1.6 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession, and 2.4 percent lower than the median household income peak that occurred in 1999", the study found.

Median incomes picked up in all regions of the United States, across all age groups, and for most ethnic and racial groups, Renwick said. One exception: Incomes didn't rise for households living outside of metropolitan areas. In this group, wages are now increasing roughly 4 percent year-over-year.

The share of people in the United States uninsured for the entire year was 9.1 per cent, or 29 million people. There were 43.1 million people in poverty, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014.

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