Income Fell & Poverty Increased in 2020

Income fell and poverty increased in 2020, according to the latest data from the Census Bureau…(CB)

  • Median household income fell 2.9% from 2019 to $67,521 in 2020.
  • The Midwest region saw the biggest drop with a 3.2% decline from 2019.

NOTE: Despite a drop in income, earnings in 2020 were up 6.9% from 2019.

  • Full-time median earnings of men were up 5.6% ($61,417) and women saw an increase of 6.5% ($50,982).

Not surprisingly, the poverty rate saw an uptick in 2020…

  • The official poverty rate increase 1.0% to 11.4% in 2020. This was the first increase in poverty after five consecutive annual declines.
  • There are 37.2 million people in poverty an approximate 3.3 million increase from 2019.

The Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families, actually saw a 2.6 percentage point drop in 2020 to 9.1% the lowest rate on record.

  • Stimulus payments helped move 11.7 million persons out of poverty and helped lower the SPM rate by 3.6 percentage points.
  • Unemployment prevented 5.5 million people from falling into poverty and Social Security continues to be the most important anti-poverty program, moving 26.5 million individuals out of poverty.