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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 24, 1998


This morning, the Census Bureau released its annual report on Income and Poverty. The report shows that our growing economy continues to raise incomes, lift millions out of poverty, and extend opportunity. It represents further evidence that we must maintain fiscal responsibility, investments in our people, and our global leadership on matters of finance and trade.

Last year the income of the typical American household grew by nearly twice the rate of inflation. Since we launched our economic plan in 1993, the typical family's income has risen by more than $3,500. The overall poverty rate fell to 13.3 percent. And while there is clearly more to be done, the African-American poverty rate fell to another record low; Hispanic poverty saw the largest one-year drop in two decades. Child poverty has dropped more in the past four years than any four-year period in nearly 30 years; and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which we have dramatically expanded and fought hard to preserve, raised more than four million people out of poverty last year.

All Americans have a right to be proud of these gains. But we can't let these good times lull us into complacency. We must work even harder to make sure that as our nation races forward, we give everyone a chance to come along.