WASHINGTON, Sept. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2013, the poverty rate declined from the previous year for the first time since 2006, while there was no statistically significant change in either the number of people living in poverty or real median household income. In addition, the poverty rate for children under 18 declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.
The nation's official poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. The 45.3 million people living at or below the poverty line in 2013, for the third consecutive year, did not represent a statistically significant change from the previous year's estimate.
Median household income in the United States in 2013 was $51,939; the change in real terms from the 2012 median of $51,759 was not statistically significant. This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive annual declines.
The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2013 calendar year was 13.4 percent; this amounted to 42.0 million people.
These findings are contained in two reports: Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013. The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement was conducted between February and April 2014 and collected information about income and health insurance coverage during the 2013 calendar year. The Current Population Survey, sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is conducted every month and is the primary source of labor force statistics for the U.S. population; it is used to calculate the monthly unemployment rate estimates. Supplements are added in most months; the Annual Social and Economic Supplement questionnaire is designed to give annual, calendar-year, national estimates of income, poverty and health insurance numbers and rates.
Traditionally, the Census Bureau releases detailed comparisons of year-to-year changes in health insurance from this survey. However, because of the redesign of the Current Population Survey's health insurance section of the questionnaire, its estimates of health insurance coverage are not directly comparable to estimates from prior years. Research suggested the Current Population Survey estimates needed improvement, as the estimates were not in line with other sources. The redesigned survey is based on over a decade of research, including two national field tests as well as cognitive testing. The survey improvements this year will better measure health insurance coverage for the prior calendar year, thus providing a strong 2013 baseline to measure future changes in health insurance coverage caused by the Affordable Care Act.
The health insurance report contains Current Population Survey statistics only for 2013. However, limited statistics on year-to-year changes based on the American Community Survey are available in the report. The report also includes state-level American Community Survey health insurance coverage statistics. According to the American Community Survey, the percent of people without health insurance coverage declined 0.2 percent between 2012 and 2013.
The American Community Survey has collected data on health insurance coverage since 2008. Additional sources of health insurance coverage data not included in this report are the Small Area Health Insurance Estimates and National Health Interview Survey.
The Current Population Survey-based income and poverty report includes comparisons with one year earlier. State and local income and poverty results, as well as state and local health insurance coverage results, will be available Thursday, Sept. 18, from the American Community Survey.
Real median incomes in 2013 for family households ($65,587) and nonfamily households ($31,178) did not experience a statistically significant change from the levels in 2012.
A comparison of real median household income over the past six years shows that income is 8.0 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the nation entered an economic recession.
Race and Hispanic Origin
(Race data refer to people reporting a single race only; Hispanics can be of any race)
The real median income of Hispanic households increased by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. Changes were not statistically significant for any of the race groups, however. (See Table A.)
Changes in real median household income were not statistically significant for any of the four regions between 2012 and 2013. (See Table A.)
The changes in the real median earnings of men and women who worked full time, year- round between 2012 and 2013 were not statistically significant. In 2013, the median earnings of women who worked full time, year-round ($39,157) was 78 percent of that for men working full time, year-round ($50,033) ─ not statistically different from the 2012 ratio. The female-to-male earnings ratio has not experienced a statistically significant annual increase since 2007.
The number of men and women working full time, year-round with earnings increased by 1.8 million and 1.0 million, respectively, between 2012 and 2013. (The difference between the two increases was not statistically significant.) Since 2010, the year following the most recent recession, the total number of year-round, full-time workers has increased by 6.4 million.
The Gini index was 0.476 in 2013; the change from 2012 was not statistically significant. Since 1993, the earliest year available for comparable measures of income inequality, the Gini index has increased 4.9 percent. (Developed more than a century ago, the Gini index is the most common measure of household income inequality used by economists, with zero representing total income equality and one equivalent to total inequality.)
Changes in income inequality between 2012 and 2013 were not statistically significant as measured by the shares of aggregate household income by quintiles.
The poverty rate for families fell from 11.8 percent in 2012 to 11.2 percent in 2013. The number of families in poverty declined from 9.5 million to 9.1 million over the same period.
In 2013, 5.8 percent of married-couple families, 30.6 percent of families with a female householder and 15.9 percent of families with a male householder lived in poverty. For married-couple families, both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased. Neither the poverty rates nor the estimates of the number of families in poverty showed any statistically significant change between 2012 and 2013 for other types of families.
As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated for inflation using the consumer price index, the weighted average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2013 was $23,834.
Between 2012 and 2013, poverty rates fell for both males and females. In 2013, 13.1 percent of males and 15.8 percent of females were in poverty, down from 13.6 percent and 16.3 percent in 2012.
Race and Hispanic Origin
(Race data refer to people reporting a single race only; Hispanics can be of any race)
Hispanics were the only group among the major race and ethnic groups to experience a statistically significant change in their poverty rate and the number of people in poverty (both the rate and number declined). Table B details 2013 poverty rates and numbers in poverty, as well as changes since 2012 in these measures, for race groups and Hispanics.
In 2013, 13.6 percent of people 18 to 64 (26.4 million) were in poverty compared with 9.5 percent of people 65 and older (4.2 million). Neither of these poverty rates experienced a statistically significant change from their 2012 estimates.
The poverty rate for children under 18 declined from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013. The number of children in poverty also declined over the period, from 16.1 million to 14.7 million. This was the first time since 2000 that the child poverty rate declined.
None of the four regions experienced a significant change in the poverty rate or the number in poverty between 2012 and 2013. (See Table B.)
Shared households are defined as households that include at least one "additional" adult: a person 18 or older who is not enrolled in school and is not the householder, spouse or cohabiting partner of the householder. The information on shared households covers adults living in the household at the time of the survey.
In spring 2007, prior to the recession, there were 19.7 million shared households, representing 17.0 percent of all households. By spring 2014, the number had increased to 23.5 million and represented 19.1 percent of all households. Between 2013 and 2014, the change in the number and percentage of shared households was not statistically significant.
In spring 2014, 6.1 million young adults age 25 to 34 (14.4 percent) lived with their parents. Neither the number nor percentage experienced a statistically significant change from 2013.
It is difficult to precisely assess the impact of household sharing on overall poverty rates. In 2014, young adults age 25 to 34, living with their parents, had an official poverty rate of 9.3 percent, but if their poverty status were determined using only their own income, 43.7 percent had an income below the poverty threshold for a single person under age 65.
Health Insurance Coverage
The Current Population Survey shows that the percentage of people with health insurance for all or part of 2013 was 86.6 percent, and 13.4 percent did not have health insurance for the entire year.
Full-time, year-round workers were more likely to be covered by health insurance (86.1 percent) than those who worked less than full-time, year round (76.0 percent) or non-workers (77.6 percent).
Among adults age 18 to 64 with a disability, 39.3 percent had private health insurance, compared with 70.7 percent of their counterparts with no disability in 2013. More than half (56.6 percent) of people with a disability had government-provided health insurance. The percentage of working-age adults with a disability who had any type of health insurance coverage was higher than the comparable population with no disability (86.2 percent, compared with 81.1 percent.)
In 2013, the majority of individuals (64.2 percent) were covered by private health insurance. The largest single type of health insurance in 2013 was employment-based health insurance, which covered 53.9 percent of the population.
In 2013, 34.3 percent of the population was covered by government health insurance. The percentage of people covered by Medicaid in 2013 was 17.3 percent and the percentage covered by Medicare was 15.6 percent.
The percentage of uninsured children younger than 19 was 7.6 percent in 2013.
In 2013, the uninsured rate for children younger than 19 in poverty (9.8 percent) was higher than the uninsured rate for children not in poverty (7.0 percent).
In 2013, 9.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured, compared with 15.9 percent of blacks and 24.3 percent of Hispanics.
Supplemental Poverty Measure The poverty statistics released today compare the official poverty thresholds to money income before taxes, not including the value of non-cash benefits. The Census Bureau's statistical experts, with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and in consultation with other federal agencies and researchers from both within and outside of academia, have developed a supplemental poverty measure to serve as an additional indicator of economic well-being by incorporating additional items such as tax payments and work expenses in its family resource estimates. It does not replace the official poverty measure and will not be used to determine eligibility for government programs. See Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013 for more information. The Census Bureau published preliminary poverty estimates using this supplemental measure in November 2011, 2012 and 2013. Supplemental poverty estimates for 2013 will be published in October 2014.
State and Local Estimates from the American Community Survey On Thursday, Sept. 18, the Census Bureau will release single-year estimates of median household income, poverty and health insurance for all states, counties, places and other geographic units with populations of 65,000 or more from the 2013 American Community Survey. These statistics will include numerous social, economic and housing characteristics, such as language, education, commuting, employment, mortgage status and rent. Later today, subscribers will be able to access these estimates on an embargoed basis. Reports on income, poverty and health insurance using American Community Survey data will also be released Thursday.
The American Community Survey provides a wide range of important statistics about people and housing for every community (i.e., census tracts, or neighborhoods) across the nation. The results are used by everyone from town and city planners to retailers and homebuilders. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers for even the smallest communities.
Redesigned Questions The 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement included redesigned questions for income and health insurance coverage. All of the approximately 98,000 addresses included in the survey were eligible to receive the redesigned health insurance coverage questions. The redesigned income questions were implemented to a subsample of those 98,000 addresses using a probability split panel design. Approximately 68,000 addresses were eligible to receive income questions similar to those used in the 2013 survey and the remaining 30,000 addresses were eligible to receive the redesigned income questions. The source of data in both reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, is the portion of the Current Population Survey Social and Economic Supplement sample (68,000 addresses) that received the set of income questions consistent with those in the 2013 survey. A probability split panel design means the Census Bureau assigned each address in the sample to either the traditional questionnaire or the alternate redesigned questionnaire based on a random number.
The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement is subject to sampling and nonsampling errors. All comparisons made in the report have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted.