Census: Inequality last year grew, but child poverty dropped

Sep 13, 2022, 10:10 AM | Updated: 10:56 am
Kymme Williams-Davis, right, takes orders at the Bushwick Grind Café she owns, Thursday Sept. 8, 2...

Kymme Williams-Davis, right, takes orders at the Bushwick Grind Café she owns, Thursday Sept. 8, 2022, in New York. Williams-Davis has noticed a definite shift in customer demand since she's had to raise prices and switch to different types of goods to keep up with inflation. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Income inequality in the U.S. increased last year for the first time in more than a decade, but childhood poverty was cut almost in half due to expansion of the federal government’s child tax credit and stimulus payments made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new survey results released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The income inequality index increased 1.2% from 2020 to 2021, the first time the measurement known as the Gini Index has increased since 2011, according to a report on Current Population Survey results.

Declines in household income among the poorest U.S. residents appears to have driven the widening of the income inequality gap. Households in the 90th percentile of the income distribution, the richest, had income that was 13.5 times higher than households in the 10th percentile, the poorest. That was a 4.9% increase from 2020.

“It is sensitive to extremes at either end,” said Liana Fox, a Census Bureau official. “This suggests that the decline in real income at the bottom drove the increase in the Gini index.”

For the most part, there was little year-to-year change in median household income based on demographic traits like race or ethnic background.

However, people in households headed by someone age 65 or older, those with only some college education and households where family members didn’t live together saw dips in their income from 2020 to 2021. Among the reasons was that the fixed income that many seniors are on didn’t keep pace with rising inflation in 2021, and many of the “nonfamily” households were headed by women whose income lagged those headed by men.

Households headed by people with at least a college degree saw bumps in overall income last year.

Broken down by race and ethnic background, Asian households in 2021 had the highest median income at $101,418, followed by non-Hispanic whites at $77,999 and Hispanics at $57,981. Black households had median income of $48,297.

Median incomes were highest in the West at $79,430 and the Northeast at $77,472, followed by the Midwest $71,129 and the South at $63,368.

The time period in the latest Current Population Survey covered the third round of pandemic-related stimulus payments and expansions to the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child and Dependent Care Credit. The time period in the survey also saw a 4.7% increase in consumer prices, the largest annual increase in the cost-of-living adjustment since 1990.

The expansion of the Child Tax Credit helped reduce childhood poverty, as measured by the bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% last year. It is the lowest since the new measure was implemented in 2009.

“The new data show the significant impact the expansion of anti-poverty programs during the COVID-19 pandemic had on reducing child poverty,” the Census Bureau said in a report.

___

Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visits Zojoji Temple on the day of the state funeral for former P...
Associated Press

VP Harris seeks computer chip partners in Tokyo

TOKYO (AP) — Armed with a new law that boosts U.S. support for computer chip manufacturing, Vice President Kamala Harris is seeking new investments and partnerships as she sits down with Japanese technology executives. Harris was meeting with the CEOs on her last full day in Tokyo on Wednesday, a reflection of the administration’s focus […]
17 hours ago
Chicago police respond to a shooting near the CPD Homan Square facility Monday, Sept. 26, 2022.  On...
Associated Press

Chicago police charge man who infiltrated SWAT training

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police filed eight felony counts Tuesday against a man who climbed five stories of a fire escape to infiltrate a police facility while officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise. Donald Patrick, 47, of Waukegan was charged with five counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and three counts of […]
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the Nevada Department of Corrections shows Porfirio Duarte-Herrera, ...
Associated Press

Inmate serving life for fatal Vegas bombing escapes prison

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 42-year-old convicted bombmaker serving life in prison for a deadly 2007 explosion outside a Las Vegas Strip resort has escaped from a Nevada state prison, officials said Tuesday. Officials realized Porfirio Duarte-Herrera was missing during a morning head count at Southern Desert Correctional Center near Las Vegas, and a state […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Judge green lights defamation lawsuit against Fox, Lou Dobbs

NEW YORK (AP) — A defamation lawsuit against Fox Corp., Fox News Network and Lou Dobbs can proceed toward trial, a judge ruled Monday after concluding that a Venezuelan businessman had made sufficient claims of being unfairly accused of trying to corrupt the 2020 U.S. presidential election to be permitted to gather more evidence. The […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Alabama prisoners refusing to work in 2nd day of protest

MONTGOMERY, Ala (AP) — Alabama inmates were in their second day of a work strike Tuesday, refusing to labor in prison kitchens, laundries and factories to protest conditions in the state’s overcrowded, understaffed lock-ups. Prisoners including those who provide food, laundry and janitorial services refused to show up for work at major state prisons, leaving […]
17 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.

Sponsored Articles

...
SCHWARTZ LASER EYE CENTER

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Census: Inequality last year grew, but child poverty dropped