Good News from the Census Bureau, Unless You're a Woman, Minority or Child
The good news for the country as a whole is that the poverty rate went down for the first time since 2007.
The good news for the country as a whole is that the poverty rate went down for the first time since 2007, according to new data from the Census Bureau.
But that slight improvement hasn't changed the large racial and gender based income gaps — women still make 78 percent of what men make, the earnings of black and Hispanic families are still tens of thousands of dollars lower than Asian and white families, and 20 percent of children live in poverty. While the poverty rate has decreased for everyone, it hasn't led to income equality. Here's a breakdown of the key facts from the report:
The poverty rate is down (but not to pre-recession levels)
The poverty rate for all Americans dropped from 15 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013. That's the first time the poverty rate has gone down since 2007, and the largest drop in the rate since 2000. And yet, we're not back to pre-recession levels: in 2007 the poverty rate was two percentage points lower than it was last year.
Black and Hispanic families still have lower median incomes
The overall median income for American families in 2013 was $51,939, which wasn't significantly different from the 2012 level. Again, we're not to pre-recessional levels — the real median income for families was 8 percent lower in 2013 than in 2007.
The gap between races also hasn't changed, as the chart above shows. Real median income for Hispanic families increased by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013.
The gender wage gap was unchanged
Women made 78 cents to every dollar men made, which wasn't a significant change from the year before. Women are also less likely to have full time jobs and more likely to live in poverty.
One out of five children lives in poverty
Twenty percent of female children and 19.8 percent of male children lived in poverty in 2013, and that was actually down from 2012. If that seems high, that's because children are overrepresented — they make up 23.5 percent of the population but 32.2 percent of people in poverty.