US Census: Median Income Rises, Poverty Rate Dips

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Steady job growth and the biggest earnings boost on record helped sharply lower the nation’s poverty level last year and finally provided relief to the long-running problem of stagnant incomes.

In its annual report on income and poverty, the Census Bureau said Tuesday that the share of people in the U.S. living in poverty dropped to 13.5% in 2015, marking one of the biggest annual declines in decades.

That was down from 14.8% in the prior year, but still considerably higher than the 12.3% poverty rate in 2006, the year before the Great Recession began, and the 40-year low of 11.3% in the year 2000.

The report also provided some encouraging news for a change on average American incomes. The median household income — the point at which half make more and half less — was $56,500 last year. That was up a substantial 5.2% from $53,700 in 2014, after adjusting for inflation.