By the Numbers: Income and Poverty, 2015

Key numbers from today’s new Census reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015. All dollar values are adjusted for inflation (2015 dollars).

Earnings

Median earnings for men working full time rose 1.5 percent, to $51,212, in 2015. Men’s earnings are down 0.7 percent since 2007, and are still 0.1 percent lower than they were in 2000.

Median earnings for women working full time rose 2.7 percent, to $40,742, in 2015. Women’s earnings are up 1.5 percent since 2007, and are 7.8 percent higher than they were in 2000.

Median earnings for men working full time

  • 2015: $51,212
  • 2014–2015: 1.5%
  • 2007–2015: -0.7%
  • 2000–2015: -0.1%

Median earnings for women working full time

  • 2015: $40,742
  • 2014–2015: 2.7%
  • 2007–2015: 1.5%
  • 2000–2015: 7.8%

Incomes

Median household income rose 5.2 percent, to $56,516, in 2015. Median household income is down 4.6 percent since 2007, and is still 5.2 percent lower than it was in 2000.

Median non-elderly household income rose 4.6 percent, to $63,344, in 2015. Median non-elderly household income is down 5.0 percent since 2007, and is still 8.2 percent lower than it was in 2000.

Median household income

  • 2015: $56,516
  • 2014–2015: 5.2%
  • 2007–2015: -4.6%
  • 2000–2015: -5.2%

Median non-elderly household income

  • 2015: $63,344
  • 2014–2015: 4.6%
  • 2007–2015: -5.0%
  • 2000–2015: -8.2%

Median household income for white, non-Hispanic households rose 4.4 percent, to $62,950, in 2015. Median household income is down 3.2 percent since 2007, and is still 3.2 percent lower than it was in 2000.

Median household income for African American households rose 4.1 percent, to $36,898, in 2015. Median household income is down 6.8 percent since 2007, and is still 11.5 percent lower than it was in 2000.

Median household income for Hispanic households rose 6.1 percent, to $45,148, in 2015. Median household income is up 5.4 percent since 2007, but is still 2.1 percent lower than it was in 2000.

Median white, non-Hispanic household income

  • 2015: $62,950
  • 2014–2015: 4.4%
  • 2007–2015: -3.2%
  • 2000–2015: -3.2%

Median African American household income

  • 2015: $36,898
  • 2014–2015: 4.1%
  • 2007–2015: -6.8%
  • 2000–2015: -11.5%

Median Hispanic household income

  • 2015: $45,148
  • 2014–2015: 6.1%
  • 2007–2015: 5.4%
  • 2000–2015: 2.1%

Poverty

The poverty rate fell 1.3 percentage points, to 13.5 percent, in 2015. The poverty rate is 1.0 percentage points higher than in 2007, and is still 2.2 percentage points higher than it was in 2000.

The child poverty rate fell 1.4 percentage points, to 19.7 percent, in 2015. The child poverty rate is 1.7 percentage points higher than in 2007, and is still 3.5 percentage points higher than it was in 2000.

Poverty rate

  • 2015: 13.5%
  • 2014–2015: -1.3 percentage points
  • 2007–2015: 1.0 percentage points
  • 2000–2015: 2.2 percentage points

Poverty rate for children

  • 2015: 19.7%
  • 2014–2015: -1.4 percentage points
  • 2007–2015: 1.7 percentage points
  • 2000–2015: 3.5 percentage points

The white, non-Hispanic poverty rate fell 1.0 percentage points, to 9.1 percent, in 2015. The white, non-Hispanic poverty rate is 0.9 percentage points higher than in 2007, and is still 1.7 percentage points higher than it was in 2000.

The African American poverty rate fell 2.1 percentage points, to 24.1 percent, in 2015. The African American poverty rate is 0.4 percentage points lower than in 2007, but is still 1.6 percentage points higher than it was in 2000.

The Hispanic poverty rate fell 2.2 percentage points, to 21.4 percent, in 2015. The Hispanic poverty rate is 0.1 percentage points lower than in 2007, and is 0.1 percentage points lower than it was in 2000.

White, non-Hispanic poverty rate

  • 2015: 9.1%
  • 2014–2015: -1.0 percentage points
  • 2007–2015: 0.9 percentage points
  • 2000–2015: 1.7 percentage points

African American poverty rate

  • 2015: 24.1%
  • 2014–2015: -2.1 percentage points
  • 2007–2015: -0.4 percentage points
  • 2000–2015: 1.6 percentage points

Hispanic poverty rate

  • 2015: 21.4%
  • 2014–2015: -2.2 percentage points
  • 2007–2015: -0.1 percentage points
  • 2000–2015: -0.1 percentage points

Policy matters

Using the Supplemental Poverty Measure, we can evaluate how government assistance lifts people out of poverty.

  • Social Security kept 26.6 million people out of poverty in 2015.
  • Food stamps (SNAP) kept 4.6 million people out of poverty in 2015.
  • Unemployment insurance kept nearly 650,000 people out of poverty in 2015.

  • Daniel Burnett

    Thank you for this very detailed information succinctly summarized. Question: I have heard the methodology for this data was changed in 2013. How does that effect this data? Have you compensated for that change or are some of these numbers different due to that change?