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A fresh report from the bureau showed that US household income and earnings rose to a record median reading in 2016.

The typical New Hampshire household earned $35,000 a year more than the typical household in the country's poorest state, Mississippi, where the median income is $41,099. The Census Bureau estimates that in 2016, the official poverty rate was 12.7 percent, 0.8 percentage points below the 13.5 percent rate in 2015, and 2.1 percentage points lower than the 14.8 percent rate in 2014.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2016 calendar year was 8.8 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2015, the Census Bureau says. That comes on top of a 5.2% increase in 2015. Rather than an increase in wages, household incomes rose because the number of full-time, year-round employees in the labor force has jumped over the last two years. The federal poverty threshold for a family of four with two children was $24,036 in 2015.

A word on definitions: In this report, the Census Bureau differentiated between metropolitan areas, which are defined as having central urban clusters surrounded by economically connected outlying areas, and non-metro areas, which include all parts of the country outside of metro areas. Black households saw their median income rise almost 6 percent, and Hispanic households more than 4 percent - both better than the national average.

Households gained the most on the Northeast and West, but the median income was essentially flat in the Midwest and actually declined in the South.

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Alabama ranks in the bottom 10 overall for poverty, ahead of other southern states such as Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, which have poverty rates of 20.1, 18.8 and 19.4 percent, respectively. (Those areas also tend to have higher costs of living.) Rounding out the top five in terms of income past year were Boston, Seattle and Baltimore. The national poverty rate fell 0.8 points to 12.7 percent. "Real median household income has finally completed its nine-year slog of digging out of the ditch", one economist tells USA Today. Incomes rose a bit for non-Hispanic white ($65,041), Hispanic ($47,675), and black families ($39,490), but were lower than their Asian neighbors. It shows that programs like Social Security, the earned income tax credit and SNAP, or food stamps, do lift tens of millions of Americans out of poverty every year.

However, the official poverty measure is flawed, according to Bruce Meyer, the McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and James Sullivan, the Rev. Thomas J. McDonagh, C.S.C. Unfortunately, 42 per cent of those children live in poverty, compared to just 25.5 per cent among children who live with their father.

If that's not enough, more data is coming: We'll get a detailed geographical breakdown on Thursday. Most Upstate New York cities saw their rates drop or stay steady.

The number of "extreme poverty" Syracuse neighborhoods, where more than 40 percent of residents live in poverty, increased from nine tracts in 2000 to 30 tracts in 2015, the study found.

More than 2.8 million of New York's 19.2 million residents were living in poverty a year ago, down from nearly 3 million in poverty in 2015. The 2016 figure is not statistically different than the 2007 rate, the bureau said.


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