Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The 2007 US Census Report: Poverty Same, Uninsured down, Income Up, and some other stuff

Okay, if you haven’t heard about this one, then you must be living in a cave, or maybe with the crowd from “Lost.”

Normally I do not write about purely political topics, but I could not help myself. If you want, you can just scroll on down to the last paragraph for the political punch line.

The media beefed up this report so much that I couldn’t wait to hear about the 2007 US census statistics on poverty, health insurance coverage, and the American community survey data. And it is the end of 2008! With the Democratic convention underway, it was widely speculated that the number of uninsured individuals would rise and Obama’s health care plan would gain some momentum; well, they fell.

The basics of the 2007 report that you have probably already read about are the following:
  • Real median household income rose 1.3%.
  • The official poverty rate was 12.5%, which is statistically unchanged from 2006 (meaning that their estimates could be off just a bit, resulting in the 2006 number).
  • The number of uninsured persons fell 1.3 million to 45.7 million, or 15.3%.

Some other interesting 2007 statistics that are not in the mass media:

  • Median household incomes rose in the Midwest ($50,277) and the South ($46,186), and fell in the Northeast ($52,274) and were unchanged in the West ($54,138).
  • Real median earnings for men who worked full time rose $1,653 to $45,113 while for women, they rose $1,665 to $35,102 (notice the differential – no, this is not a 1950’s statistic).
  • The number of seniors 65 and older in poverty increased 200,000 to 3.6 million; the CBO’s estimates on social security obligations will probably change based on this number.

The uninsured rates in the Northeast and Midwest, 11.4%, were lower than that in the West and South, 16.9% and 18.4%. For the Northeast, this is a direct product of Romney’s state-wide mandatory and subsidized health care coverage.

Also, did you know that the report was also published in Spanish? Enough said. I am a bit irked that the Census Bureau spent time, money, and resources publishing this report in Spanish.

Please leave comment. Best, Nontruths

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