KEY FACTS ON CENSUS INCOME AND POVERTY REPORT
September 24, 1998
TODAY, THE CENSUS BUREAU RELEASED ITS ANNUAL REPORT ON INCOME AND POVERTY IN AMERICA FOR 1997. HERE ARE SOME OF THE RESULTS:
Broad-Based Income Gains:
Typical Household Income Up 1.9 Percent in 1997. Income for the
median household rose $699, from $36,306 in 1996 to $37,005 in 1997,
adjusted for inflation.
Typical Family Income Up $3,517 Since 1993. Another measure of
income -- family income, which excludes single individuals and
counts only related members in any household -- shows a similar
trend. Last year, the median family's income, adjusted for
inflation, increased 3.0 percent (or $1,297) -- the fourth
consecutive annual rise. Since President Clinton's Economic Plan
passed in 1993, median family income has increased from $41,051 in
1993 to $44,568 in 1997 -- that's a $3,517 increase in income,
adjusted for inflation. From 1988 to 1992, median family income
fell $1,835, adjusted for inflation.
Under President Clinton, The Typical African-American Household's
Income Is Up $3,354. The median income of African-American households
rose 4.3 percent (or $1,029) last year. And since 1993, the median
income of African-American households has increased from $21,696 to
$25,050 -- that's $3,354 or a 15-percent increase, adjusted for
inflation, between 1993 and 1997.
Income of Typical Hispanic Household Up $2,553 in Past Two Years. In
1997, the income of the median Hispanic household, adjusted for
inflation, increased from $25,477 in 1996 to $26,628 in 1997 -- that's
an increase of $1,151 or 4.5 percent. Over the past two years, the
income of the typical Hispanic household has risen $2,553 -- or nearly
11 percent -- the largest two-year increase in Hispanic income on
After Rising Sharply for 20 Years, Inequality Has Stabilized. After
rising for nearly 20 years, income inequality has not changed
significantly over the past four years. Since 1993, every income
group -- from the most well-off to the poorest -- experienced a real
increase in their income.
Earnings for Typical Workers Up. Last year, the earnings of the
median full-time, year-round male rose 2.4 percent, from $32,882 in
1996 to $33,674 in 1997 and the earnings of the median full-time,
year-round female rose 3.0 percent, from $24,254 in 1996 to $24,973 in
1997. This means that the female-to-male ratio remained at 74 percent
its all-time high.
Reductions in Poverty:
Poverty Rate Fell To 13.3 Percent in 1997 --Down from 15.1 Percent in
1993. In 1997, the poverty rate dropped to 13.3 percent from 13.7
percent the year before. Since President Clinton signed his Economic
Plan into law, the poverty rate has declined from 15.1 percent in 1993
to 13.3 percent last year. That means that there are 3.7 million
fewer people in poverty today than in 1993. (In 1997, the poverty
threshold was $16,400 for a family of four.)
The African-American Poverty Rate Down To Its Lowest Level on Record.
While the African-American poverty rate is still far above the poverty
rate for whites, it declined from 28.4 percent in 1996 to 26.5 percent
in 1997 -- that's its lowest level recorded since data were first
collected in 1959. Since 1993, the African-American poverty rate has
dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.5 percent -- that's the largest
four-year drop in African-American poverty in more than a quarter
Last Year, Largest Hispanic Poverty Drop In Two Decades. Last year,
the Hispanic poverty rate dropped from 29.4 percent to 27.1 percent --
that's the largest one-year drop in Hispanic poverty since 1978.
While there is still more work to do, since President Clinton took
office, Hispanic poverty has dropped from 30.6 percent to 27.1
Under President Clinton, Largest Four-Year Drop in Child Poverty Since
1960s. While the child poverty rate remains high, in 1997, it
declined from 20.5 percent to 19.9 percent. Under President Clinton,
the child poverty rate has declined from 22.7 percent to 19.9 percent
that's the biggest four-year drop in nearly 30 years (1965-1969).
Elderly Poverty Rate As Low As It's Ever Been. In 1997, the elderly
poverty rate dropped to 10.5 percent, from 10.8 percent in 1996. The
elderly poverty rate is now as low as it's ever been -- it was also
10.5 percent in 1995.
Child Poverty Among African-Americans Down To Lowest Level on Record.
In 1997, the African-American child poverty rate fell from 39.9
percent to 37.2 percent -- its lowest level on record (data collected
since 1959). Since 1993, the child poverty rate among
African-Americans has dropped room 46.1 percent to 37.2 percent
--that's the biggest four-year drop on record.
Hispanic Child Poverty Dropped More Last Year Than Any Year on Record.
In 1997, the Hispanic child poverty rate dropped from 40.3 percent to
36.8 percent -- that's the largest one-year drop on record (data
collected since 1976). Since 1993, the child poverty rate among
Hispanics has declined from 40.9 percent to 36.8 percent.
4.3 Million People Lifted Out of Poverty By EITC -- Double The Number
in 1993. In 1993, President Clinton expanded the Earned Income Tax
Credit, providing a tax cut for low-income working families. In
1997, the EITC lifted 4.3 million people out of poverty -- that's
double the number of people lifted out of poverty by the EITC in
1993. In 1997, the EITC lifted 2.2 million children, 1.1 million
African-Americans, and nearly 1.2 million Hispanics out of poverty.