The U.S. Census Bureau announced last month that real median household income in 2022 fell in comparison to 2021. The official poverty rate of 11.5% was not statistically different between 2021 and 2022. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rate in 2022 was 12.4%, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from 2021. This is the first increase in the overall SPM poverty rate since 2010.
Meanwhile, 92.1% of the U.S. population had health insurance coverage for all or part of 2022 (compared to 91.7% in 2021). An estimated 25.9 million or 7.9% of people did not have health insurance at any point during 2022, according to the 2023 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). That compares to 27.2 million or 8.3% of people who did not have health insurance at any point during 2021.
Real median household income fell by 2.3% from $76,330 in 2021 to $74,580 in 2022. Income estimates are expressed in real or 2022 dollars to reflect changes in the cost of living. Between 2021 and 2022, inflation rose 7.8%; this is the largest annual increase in the cost-of-living adjustment since 1981. This year’s report is the first in which the Census Bureau used the Chained Consumer Price Index to adjust prior year income estimates for inflation. You can find more in-depth analysis in our recent Random Samplings blog.
The real median earnings of all workers (including part-time and full-time workers) decreased 2.2% between 2021 and 2022, while median earnings of those who worked full-time, year-round decreased 1.3%. Between 2021 and 2022, the number of full-time, year-round workers increased by 3.4%, compared to a 1.7% increase in the number of total workers. This suggests a continuing shift from working part-time or part-year to full-time, year-round work in 2022.
The official poverty rate in 2022 was 11.5%, with 37.9 million people in poverty. Neither the rate nor the number in poverty was significantly different from 2021. The SPM rate in 2022 was 12.4%, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from 2021. This increase can be attributed to key changes in federal tax policy, including the expiration of temporary expansions to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as the end of pandemic-era stimulus payments. This is the first increase in the overall SPM poverty rate since 2010.
These findings come from three Census Bureau reports: Income in the United States: 2022, Poverty in the United States: 2022, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2022. While the official poverty measure is based on the concept of money income, which is pretax and does not include stimulus payments and tax credits, the SPM is a post-tax and transfer poverty measure. The SPM provides an alternative way of measuring poverty in the United States and serves as an additional indicator of economic well-being. The Census Bureau has published poverty estimates using the SPM annually since 2011 in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Source: The United States Census Bureau
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