Income levels and poverty rates were not statistically different for most states from 2012 to 2013, according to statistics released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the nation’s most comprehensive data source on American households.
The state and local income and poverty statistics in the American Community Survey and the local-level health insurance statistics complement the national-level statistics released from the Current Population Survey and American Community Survey. The American Community Survey has included questions about health insurance coverage since 2008, and today’s release provides statistics for all metropolitan areas and places with a population of 65,000 or more. Of metro areas, Pittsfield, Mass., had among the lowest percentage of uninsured at 2.1 percent.
“The American Community Survey is our country’s only source of small area estimates for social and demographic characteristics,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “As such, it is indispensable to our economic competitiveness and used by businesses, local governments and anyone in need of trusted, timely, detailed data.”
The 2013 American Community Survey provides a multitude of statistics that measure the social, economic and housing conditions of U.S. communities. More than 40 topics are available with today’s release, such as educational attainment, housing, employment, commuting, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs.
Also released are two reports providing analysis on income and poverty for states and large metropolitan areas.
According to the report Household Income: 2013, which compares American Community Survey statistics from 2012 to 2013:
· For 2013, median household incomes were lower than the U.S. median ($52,250) in 28 states and higher in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Iowa ($52,229), Pennsylvania ($52,007) and Vermont ($52,578) median household incomes did not have a statistically significant difference from the U.S. as a whole.
· In 2013, the states with the highest median household incomes were Maryland ($72,483) and Alaska ($72,237), which were not statistically different from each other. Mississippi had the lowest ($37,963).
· There were no statistically significant decreases in median household incomes among states.
· Median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas was highest in the Washington, D.C. ($90,149), San Francisco ($79,624) and Boston ($72,907) metro areas.
Household Income: 2013 also examined the Gini index for states and large metro areas. The Gini index is a summary measure of income inequality, ranging from 0 — complete equality — to 1 — complete inequality. Among the findings:
· Five states and the District of Columbia had Gini indexes higher than the U.S. index of .481.
· Thirty-six states had lower Gini indexes than the U.S. index of .481.
· The Gini index of 15 states increased from 2012 to 2013. Alaska was the only state to have a decrease. All other states saw no significant change.
· The highest Gini index was in the District of Columbia (0.532). Alaska’s (0.408) was among the lowest.
· Additional Gini index data on the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data search engine is available for metropolitan statistical areas and other areas with populations of 65,000 or more. Of the 25 most populous metro areas, Gini indexes ranged from 0.442 (for the Washington, D.C., metro area, although not statistically different from Portland, Ore., Riverside, Calif., and Minneapolis) to 0.512 (for the New York metro area, which was not statistically different from the Miami metro area).
According to the report Poverty: 2012 and 2013, which compares American Community Survey statistics from 2012 to 2013:
· Forty-two states and the District of Columbia experienced no statistical change in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2012 and 2013. Likewise, 20 of the 25 largest metropolitan areas did not see a statistical change in the number and percentage of people in poverty.
· Two states — New Hampshire and Wyoming— saw a decline in both the number and percentage of people in poverty. In terms of rates, New Hampshire’s poverty rate declined from 10.0 percent in 2012 to 8.7 percent in 2013. Wyoming’s rate declined from 12.6 percent to 10.9.
· Three states saw increases in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2012 and 2013. New Jersey’s poverty rate increased from 10.8 percent in 2012 to 11.4 percent in 2013; New Mexico increased from 20.8 percent to 21.9 percent, and Washington increased from 13.5 percent to 14.1 percent.
· In 2013, Mississippi had the highest poverty rate among states (24.0 percent), followed by New Mexico (21.9 percent). Both states also had the highest percentage of the population below 125 percent of the poverty level: 30.3 percent in Mississippi; 28.3 percent in New Mexico. About one in 10 people in both states had incomes less than 50 percent of the poverty level.
· Among large metropolitan areas, one of the lowest proportions of people with incomes less than 50 percent of the poverty level in 2013 was 4.2 percent in the Washington, D.C., metro area, while one of the highest proportions was 8.4 percent in the Phoenix metro area.