Poverty and Income Data Highlights
- The percent of people in deep poverty, with incomes below 50% of the poverty threshold, remained at 6.6 percent from 2011, which is still a substantial increase from the 5.2 percent rate seen in 2006 and 2007 (prior to the recession) and even from the data collected in 1967 where deep poverty was at 4.4 percent.
- The poverty rates for children, those under the age of 18, was 21.8 percent, not statistically different from 2011.
- Median household income in 2012 was $51,017, not statistically different from the 2011 median income of $51,100.
Health Insurance Coverage Data Highlights
- The percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased to 15.4 percent from 15.7 percent between 2011 and 2012, while the number of uninsured people in 2012 was not statistically different from 2011, at 48 million people.
- The percentage and number of people covered by government health insurance increased to 32.6 percent and 101.5 million people in 2012 up slightly from 32.2 percent and 99.5 million people in 2011.
- The percentage of Asians and Hispanics without health insurance decreased from 16.8 percent and 30.1 percent to 15.1 percent and 29.1 percent respectively.
- The percentage of uninsured children decreased from 9.4 percent to 8.9 percent in 2012.
- Unemployment insurance was able to raise 1.7 million people out of poverty in 2012.
- Social Security income helped 15.3 million people aged 65 and older out of poverty in 2012 – if these payments were excluded - it would quadruple the number of elderly people living in poverty.
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), while not included in the poverty calculations used for the data today, if considered, would have reduced the number of people in poverty by 4 million people in 2012.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) also reduced the number of children classified as living in poverty in 2012 by 2.9 million children.
The Need for a Focus on Equity. The racial disparities in the poverty data indicate that Black and Hispanic families have continued to have disproportionately higher poverty rates and lower incomes compared to White families, which has been consistent for more than three decades. This inequity shows the need for innovative solutions and public investments aimed at supporting real change. Policy strategies should take into account the existence of disparate opportunities and outcomes—attention to equity creates solutions that best meet the needs of the entire community.
To read CSSP's Statement on the New Poverty Data and Implications for Children and Families please click here.
For more strategies to Ensure Children Grow Up in Safe, Supportive and Economically Successful Families visit PolicyforResults.org.