Wed September 12, 2012

Poverty Numbers Hold Steady, but Median Income Drops in West

The U.S. Census bureau is reporting that the number of Americans in poverty held steady at 15 percent between 2010 and 2011. However, real median income of households in the West declined by 4.1 percent, marking the fourth consecutive annual decline in the region.

According to the U.S. Census:

The Northeast experienced 4 consecutive years of annual changes that were not statistically significant. Prior to 2011, the Midwest experienced 3 consecutive years of annual declines. For the South, median household income declined between 2009 and 2010 and between 2007 and 2008; the change between 2008 and 2009 was not statistically significant.

The U.S. Census won’t release a detailed breakdown of the numbers by state and county until next week.

But today’s numbers show that the West was the only region that saw a change in income between 2010 and 2011. The trend has larger economic implications according to CU Professor of Economics Jeffrey Zax.

“People with less money to spend will buy less, and that means demand for production will be less, and that means output will go down,” he said.

Zax says the effects of that drop would be felt in the overall national economy as opposed to specifically in the Western region.

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