Notes on income, race and household types in 2009
The United States Census Bureau released its annual report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States for 2009 last week.
As expected, income and health care insurance coverage were down compared to 2008 while the poverty rate increased in 2009 compared to the previous year. That’s not particularly starnge since the huge increase in unemployment from 2008 to 2009 reduced incomes and left unemployed at least temporarily without health insurance.
Married couples suffered the largest statistically significant income decline (-1.2%) of all household types. The 1.1% decline for “female householder, no husband present” was not statistically significant.
The tables below show some key high-level characteristics of American society.
Households by type
The table below shows the number of total households (in millions) as well as households that are families headed by married a couple and family households headed by a woman, no husband present. In the table I call that household “Single mom” but it could be a grandmother or other woman who isn’t the biological or legal mother of the chidlren in the family.
Households by type and income
This table shows the median income of all and various househould types in current US dollars (current meaning the numbers are not adjusted for inflation from one year to the next).
The practical problem with single-mom households is well described by Andrew Sum in the interview with CommonWealth Magazine:
So you are creating the situation where more and more young children are being raised in single-parent families that are going to face severe income inadequacy problems. They cannot pay taxes, they cannot contribute to state and federal tax coffers, making it very difficult for us to balance our budget in the years ahead, and the problem has gotten worse every year since the late ’80s.
These kids who grow up in these low-income single-parent families have basically no chance of making it in the modern economy. They have a very high drop out rate, very low college-attendance rate, very low college-graduation rate.
Households, total and by race
The number of households in millions, both by race and for the United States. I rounded to whole millions. Two things are worth noting: Even though there many more Hispanics than blacks in America there are actually more black than Hispanic households. This is the result of much higher rates of single-momhood among blacks than Latinos. The other is that because of the rounding it seems as if the number of Latino households is stagnant, but it is not, having risen from less than 13 million in 2006 to almost 13.5 million in 2009.
Household income by race
This table shows the household income by race and for all households. The general pattern is the same for type of household: income went up in 2007 then down in 2008 and 2009.
Per Capita income by race
This table shows the per capita income by race. The most interesting data point is probably that blacks have higher income per capita than Latinos even though they lower median income per household. Part of that is that Hispanics have higher birthrates which means more people per paycheck, so to speak, hence lower income per person.
People by race
The last table shows the number of people by race (in millions) according to the United States Census Bureau’s estimates. Most notable is the rapid growth of the number of Hispanics – fueled by immigration and high birth rates (Hispanics make up about 15% of the population but a quarter of all new borns) – and the stagnant size of the white population. In 1989 there were almost five white births for every Hispanic birth, today the ratio is less than 2.3:1 (Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 57, Number 7, January 7, 2009).