Poverty rate in the US steady at 15%, which represents 46.5 million people

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Of all age groups, the under 18 are the most likely to be living in poverty
Of all age groups, the under 18 are the most likely to be living in poverty

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that median household income in the United States in 2012 was 51,017 dollars and the official poverty rate was 15%, which is 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007. Neither figure represents a statistically significant change from 2011.

The decline in the percentage of people without healthcare coverage, however, was significant.

Weighted for inflation, the Office of Management and Budget defined the average poverty threshold for a family of four as 23.492 dollars. That means that 46.5 million people in the US were living at or below the poverty line.

Of all age groups, children (under age 18) were most likely to be living in poverty, with 21.8% of them, or 16.1 million kids, living in poverty last year.

In 2012, 263.2 million (84.6%) had health insurance, up from 260.2 million in 2011. Most significantly, about 400,000 fewer children under 18 went without health insurance in 2012.

The percentage of people covered under government health care — specifically Medicare — saw the most significant jump (from 15.2% in 2011 to 15.7%), but Medicaid still covers more people than Medicare.

Tuesday’s figures come from Current Population Survey. The Census Bureau is expected to release community-specific data from the American Community Survey Thursday.
 

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