Household Economics

Median household income remains below pre-recession levels in 37 states, when adjusted for inflation. In 2007, median household income was $57,357 (in 2014 dollars) - $3,700 more than in 2014. State median household incomes ranged from a low of $35,521 in Mississippi to $76,165 in Maryland in 2014.

State uninsured rates in 2014 ranged from a low of 3.3 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 19.1 percent in Texas. From 2013 to 2014, the uninsured rate fell in all 50 states, with Kentucky seeing the biggest gains - a drop of 5.8 percentage points.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the official poverty rate in 2014 was 14.8 percent - which means a total of 46.7 million people in the U.S. fell under the poverty line. The poverty threshold for a single person under the age of 65 with no children was $12,316 in 2014.  For a family of four, the poverty threshold was $24,230.

According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, real median household income held steady in 2014 at $53,657, with no statistically significant difference over 2013 levels. The same was true of the official poverty rate, which has remained around 14.8 percent for four consecutive years. The report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2014, also found that the percentage of people without health insurance coverage declined nearly 3 percentage points, falling from 13.3 percent in 2013 to 10.4 percent in 2014.

However, for each of these measures, states varied widely. Choose an infographic below to learn more.

The poverty guidelines for 2015 are available and published here in the Federal Register. These guidelines -- often cited as 100 percent of the federal poverty line -- are used to determine eligibility for a number of stata and federal programs. Sometimes eligibility is greater than 100 percent; for instance, the Affordable Care Act allows states to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of federal poverty. 

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The Illinois General Assembly passed first-of-its-kind legislation in December designed to help more workers save for retirement.

On Election Day 2014, voters in four states - Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota - will decide if minimum wage workers in their state should get a raise. If voters in all four states approve a wage increase, at least 57,000 minimum wage earners would be affected and would join workers in 16 other states who are scheduled to see a wage increase on Jan. 1, 2015.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that the national poverty rate fell from 15.0 percent in 2012 to 14.5 percent in 2013 - the first time the rate has fallen in eight years. The poverty rate for children under 18 also declined in 2013 for the first time since 2000 - from 21.8 percent in 2012 to 19.9 percent in 2013.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ (S&P) recent report examined the effects of the widening income gap in the US and concluded that rising share of income to the wealthiest Americans has resulted in less tax revenue for the states. The implications of rising income inequality for the states vary.  

Researchers at the Center for American Progress estimate that hunger costs the U.S. at least $167.5 billion every year based on a combination of lost economic productivity, increased education expenses, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity. 

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