The U.S. Census has released their latest annual report on income, poverty, and health care titled, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005.” This report is a rich source of data on economic distribution. I relied on last year’s report for much of the economic distribution data that appear in Chapter 12 of The Big Picture, and so this report provides updated data for those numbers.

For a brief summary of key findings, they also provide a press release (here) in which they report:

Real median household income in the United States rose by 1.1 percent between 2004 and 2005, reaching $46,326, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, the nation’s official poverty rate remained statistically unchanged at 12.6 percent. The percentage of people without health insurance coverage rose from 15.6 percent to 15.9 percent (46.6 million people).

The increase in real median household income represents the first increase since 1999. The poverty rate represents 37 million people who were officially in poverty in 2005 (the same number as in 2004).

One particulary interesting fact is that while household income rose, median earnings for both men and women actually fell (1.8% & 1.3% respectively).

In the full report they provide breakdowns by region, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and a variety of other demographic categories. This is always a very interesting report, and well worth the time to check it out.

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