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Income Stable, Poverty Up, Numbers of Americans 
With and Without Health Insurance Rise, 
Census Bureau Reports 

Press Release / US Census Bureau 26aug04

 

Public Information Office (301) 763-3030/763-3691 301) 457-3670 (fax) (301) 457-1037 (TDD) e-mail: pio@census.gov

Income Stable, Poverty Up, Numbers of Americans With and Without Health Insurance Rise, Census Bureau Reports

Real median household income remained unchanged between 2002 and 2003 at $43,318, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, the nation’s official poverty rate rose from 12.1 percent in 2002 to 12.5 percent in 2003. The number of people with health insurance increased by 1.0 million to 243.3 million between 2002 and 2003, and the number without such coverage rose by 1.4 million to 45.0 million. The percentage of the nation’s population without coverage grew from 15.2 percent in 2002 to 15.6 percent in 2003.

Source of Estimates and Statistical Accuracy

As with all surveys, the estimates may differ from the actual values because of sampling variation or other factors. All statements in this report have undergone statistical testing, and all comparisons are significant at the 90-percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted.

The report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2003, is available on the Internet at < http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income.html >. The report’s data were compiled from information collected in the 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS).

Also released today were tabulations from the 2003 American Community Survey (ACS). The survey is the largest household survey in the United States (800,000 housing units per year during the test phase). Like the decennial census long form it is designed to replace, the ACS provides information on money income and poverty, as well as a range of other social and economic indicators. ACS data for 2003 are shown for 116 metropolitan areas, 233 counties and 68 cities, all with populations of 250,000 or more. Starting in 2006, the Census Bureau expects data will be available for all areas with populations of 65,000 or more. And by 2010, data will be available down to the census tract and block group levels.

The fact sheet, Differences Between the Income and Poverty Estimates From the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, provides information on the differences in concepts and purposes of the ACS and the CPS.

Income

Overview

Race and Hispanic Origin

Regions

Nativity

Earnings

Income Inequality

Poverty

Overview

Race and Hispanic Origin

Age

States

Nativity

American Community Survey

Income

Counties

In the 2003 ACS, Somerset County, N.J., while not different from Howard County, Md., or Prince William County, Va., had the highest median household income ($89,289) of the 233 counties with populations of 250,000 or more in the sample.

The median household income of Hidalgo County, Texas ($24,926), while not different from Cameron County, Texas; Bronx County, N.Y.; or Lubbock County, Texas, was lower than those of the remaining 229 counties. Poverty

Counties

Somerset County, N. J., while not different from Waukesha County, Wis.; Anne Arundel County, Md.; Howard County, Md.; Prince William County, Va.; or Anoka County, Minn., had a poverty rate (1.7 percent) that was lower than those of any of the other counties with a population of 250,000 or more.

Hidalgo County, Texas (38.0 percent), and Cameron County, Texas (36.5 percent), had poverty rates higher than those of the other 231 counties, though not different from one another. Children Under 18 Years Old

Counties

Somerset County, N. J., while not different from 17 other counties, had a child poverty rate (2.0 percent) that was lower than any of the remaining counties of 250,000 or more in the 2003 ACS.

Hidalgo County, Texas, while not different from Cameron County, Texas, had a child poverty rate (48.6 percent) that was higher than those of the other counties of 250,000 or more. 

Health Insurance

Overview

Race and Hispanic Origin

Nativity

Regions

Methodology

The estimates in the income, poverty and health insurance report are based on the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplements to the Current Population Survey (CPS ASEC), which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide. The CPS is a labor force survey conducted monthly by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics using Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) and Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI).

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an integral part of the plan to redesign the decennial census and will replace the “long form.” During the 2000-2004 testing program, the ACS has been collecting data from a sample of about 800,000 addresses per year. These estimates are collected on a rolling basis every month. The ACS uses the Census 2000 self-response mail-out/mail-back methodology, followed by CATI, followed by CAPI.

Estimates from the CPS ASEC may not match the estimates from the ACS because of differences in the questionnaires, data collection methodology, reference period, processing procedures, etc. As both are surveys, they are subject to sampling and nonsampling errors. All comparisons made in the report have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted.

For additional information on the CPS data, visit <http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/p60_226sa.pdf>. For additional information on ACS data, visit < http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/Accuracy/Accuracy1.htm>.

-X-

source: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/002484.html 27aug04


http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income.html 

Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2003 

INTRODUCTION

This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Real median household income showed no change between 2002 and 2003.1 Both the number of people in poverty and the poverty rate increased between 2002 and 2003. The number and percentage of people without health insurance coverage, as well as the number of people with health insurance coverage, rose. These changes were not uniform across demographic groups. For example, Hispanics experienced declines in real median household income, Asians experienced increases in poverty, and non-Hispanic Whites had declines in health insurance coverage.2

This report has three main sections— income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. Each one presents estimates by characteristics such as race, Hispanic origin, nativity, and region. Other topics include earnings of year-round full-time workers, poverty among families, and health insurance coverage of children. The report concludes with a section discussing income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for states using 2- and 3-year averages.

The income and poverty estimates shown in this report are based solely on money income before taxes and do not include the value of noncash benefits such as food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, and employer- provided fringe benefits. Two forthcoming reports, one on alternative measures of income and the other on alternative measures of poverty, scheduled for release later this year, will discuss the effects of taxes and noncash benefits. They will be accompanied by a third report focusing on material measures of well-being.

The Annual Social and Economic Supplement provides reliable estimates of the net change from one year to the next in the overall distribution of economic characteristics of the population, but it does not show how those characteristics change for the same person, family, or household. Instead, longitudinal measures of income, poverty, and health insurance coverage that are based on following the same people over time are available from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

Because Hispanics may be of any race, data in this report for Hispanics overlap with data for racial groups. Being Hispanic was reported by 11.8 percent of White householders who reported only one race; 2.7 percent of Black householders who reported only one race; 26.5 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native householders who reported only one race; and 10.0 percent of Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander householders who reported only one race.

Estimates derived from SIPP data answer such questions as:

The text box “Dynamics of Economic Well-Being” provides more information.

 


BOX  -  Dynamics of Economic Well-Being

With monthly data available for characteristics such as labor force participation, income, and health insurance coverage, SIPP provides a unique opportunity to learn about the dynamic nature of the experiences of individuals, families, or households over the course of the panel. Thus, it enables us to measure the extensive economic mobility of people in the U.S. economy.4 For example, recent SIPP reports have shown that:


 

INCOME IN THE UNITED STATES

Highlights

Race and Hispanic Origin

Real median household income remained unchanged for most race groups between 2002 and 2003. For example, the median incomes of non-Hispanic White households, Black households, and Asian households remained unchanged.7 Hispanic households experienced a decline in median income of 2.6 percent.8 Black households had the lowest median income.9 Their 2003 median money income was about $30,000, which was 62 percent of the median for non-Hispanic White households (about $48,000).10

Median money income for Hispanic households was about $33,000 in 2003, which was 69 percent of the median for non-Hispanic White households.

Asian households had the highest median income among the race groups.11 Their 2003 median money income was about $55,500, 117 percent of the median for non-Hispanic White households.

Figure 1.
Real Median Household Money Income: 1967 to 2003

More figures below notes

Figure D-1. Three-Year Average Real Median Household Income by State: 2001 to 2003
Figure D-2. Three-Year Average Poverty Rate by State: 2001 to 2003
Figure D-3. Three-Year Average Percentage of People Without Health Insurance Coverage by State: 2001 to 2003


NOTES

  1. All income values are adjusted to reflect 2003 dollars. “Real” refers to comparisons of income after adjusting for inflation. The adjustment is based on percentage changes in prices between earlier years and 2003 and is computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index for 2003 by the annual average for earlier years. The CPI-U values for 1947 to 2003 are available on the Internet at <www.census.gov/hhes/income/income03/cpiurs.html>. Inflation between 2002 and 2003 was 2.3 percent.
  2. Federal surveys now ask people to report one or more races. Therefore, two ways of defining a group such as Asian are possible. The first includes those who reported Asian and no other race; the second includes everyone who reported Asian regardless of whether they also reported another race. Data using both concepts are presented in this report. In this report, “non-Hispanic Whites” refers to people who are not Hispanic who reported only White as their race.
  3. The householder is the person (or one of the people) in whose name the home is owned or rented. If the house is owned jointly by a married couple, either the husband or the wife may be listed first, thereby becoming the reference person, or householder, to whom the relationship of the other household members is recorded. One person in each household is designated as the “householder.” The number of householders, therefore, is equal to the number of households. This report uses the characteristics of the householder to describe the household. The Census Bureau uses non-Hispanic Whites as the comparison group for other race and Hispanic groups. This statement is correct for both concepts of of Black and Asian as described in footnote 2.
  4. The 2001 SIPP panel collected data from February 2001 through January 2004. The full longitudinal data file is scheduled for release later in 2004.
  5. Data users should exercise caution when interpreting aggregate results for the Hispanic population or for race groups because these populations consist of many distinct groups that differ in socioeconomic characteristics, culture, and recency of immigration. In addition, the CPS does not use separate population controls for weighting the Asian sample to national totals. Data were first collected for Hispanics in 1972 and for Asians and Pacific Islanders in 1987. For further information, see <www.bls.census.gov/cps/ads/adsmain.htm>.
  6. An article by Paul Allison, “Measures of Inequality,” American Sociological Review, 43, December 1977, pp. 865-880, provides an explanation of inequality measures.
  7. This statement is correct for both concepts of Black and of Asian, as described in footnote 2.
  8. Most Hispanics report White as their race in the CPS; thus, real median income for the combined group of non-Hispanic White households and Hispanic White households has declined. This statement is correct for both concepts of White, as described in footnote 2.
  9. This statement is correct for both concepts of Black, as described in footnote 2.
  10. The distribution of household income is influenced by many factors, such as the number of earners and household size.
  11. This statement is correct for both concepts of Asian, as described in footnote 2.

 

Figure D-1.
Three-Year Average Real Median Household Income by State: 2001 to 2003

 

Figure D-2.
Three-Year Average Poverty Rate by State: 2001 to 2003

 

Figure D-3.
Three-Year Average Percentage of People Without Health Insurance Coverage by State: 2001 to 2003

source: http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/p60-226.pdf 26aug04


Poverty: 2003 Highlights

The data presented here are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), the source of official poverty estimates. The CPS ASEC is a sample survey of approximately 100,000 household nationwide. These data reflect conditions in calendar year 2003.

HIGHLIGHTS

[1] These statements are correct for both ways of measuring the Black, Asian, and White racial groups. The CPS does not use separate population controls for weighting the Asian sample to national totals.

source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty03/pov03hi.html 27aug04


Poverty Thresholds for 2003 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years (Dollars)

  				    Weighted 	                        Related children under 18 years                .
    Size of family unit 	    average									Eight  
  				    thresholds	None	One 	Two 	Three	Four	Five	Six	Seven	or more 
One person (unrelated individual).…… 9,393
  Under 65 years.................... 9,573       9,573  
  65 years and over................. 8,825       8,825  

Two persons.........................12,015
  Householder under 65 years........12,384      12,321	12,682  
  Householder 65 years and over...……11,133      11,122  12,634  

Three persons.......................14,680      14,393  14,810  14,824  
Four persons........................18,810      18,979  19,289  18,660  18,725  
Five persons........................22,245      22,887  23,220  22,509  21,959  21,623  
Six persons.........................25,122      26,324  26,429  25,884  25,362  24,586  24,126  
Seven persons.......................28,544      30,289  30,479  29,827  29,372  28,526  27,538  26,454  
Eight persons.......................31,589      33,876  34,175  33,560  33,021  32,256  31,286  30,275  30,019  
Nine persons or more................37,656      40,751  40,948  40,404  39,947  39,196  38,163  37,229  36,998  35,572  

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/threshld/thresh03.html 27aug04


Figure 3. Number in Poverty and Poverty Rate: 1959 to 2003

Note: The data points are placed at the midpoints of the respective years.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1960 to 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty03/pov03fig03.pdf 27aug04


Figure 4. Poverty Rates by Age: 1959 to 2003

Note: The data points are placed at the midpoints of the respective years.
Data for people 18 to 64 and 65 and older are not available from 1960 to 1965.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1960 to 2004 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

source: http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty03/pov03fig04.pdf 27aug04

 

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