U.S. median income fell and income inequality grew in 2011

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

Estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showed a 1.5 percent decline in median household household income in 2011 relative to the prior year.  Despite this decline at the middle, income levels among the top 10 percent increased, contributing to growing income inequality nationwide. 

Fortunately, the national poverty rate increase that had been occuring since the 2008 recession did not continue into 2011.   Among all U.S. households, the percentage living below the poverty line ticked down as more Americans became employed and public programs continued to provide a safety net.    

Read more about national trends in the Census Bureau’s report Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011.

Estimates for states, counties and communities will be released by the Census Bureau next Thursday (September 20, 2012).   Stay tuned for the highlights as Housing Matters data wonks dive into Vermont's estimates.