The U.S. Census Bureau released the latest set of data on national trends in income levels, poverty, and health insurance today. For the first time in five years, neither median household income nor poverty levels increased.
But health insurance rates did change. The number of uninsured people decreased significantly, but remains highest among Hispanics, followed by black people and Asians. Overall, the decrease was most significant among those under age 19, and those aged 18-25. According to Bureau representatives, this shift is due to an increase in Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
But while changes in poverty and income rates remained constant, race continues to be a defining factor in wage and poverty disparities. Black and Hispanic communities have the highest levels of poverty, at 27 and 25 percent respectively, followed by Asian and white communities. And although poverty rates among Asians remain at 11 percent, Asians also have the highest median income, which some have pointed out skews perceptions of the existence of poverty in Asian communities.
Women continue to earn about 23 percent less than men, although that gap has been steadily decreasing over the last several decades. And as with last year, poverty rates are highest for children under 18 at 22 percent.
On Thursday, the Census Bureau will be releasing information from the American Community Survey, which, combined with the information released today, will give a fuller picture of regional differences, family relationships, and employment.