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News from EPI A lost decade: Poverty and income trends paint a bleak picture for working families

For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

This morning’s release by the U.S. Census Bureau of the 2009 poverty and income data was yet another reminder of the severity of the Great Recession that began in December 2007. The data show that the poverty rate increased from 13.2% in 2008 to 14.3% in 2009, the highest rate since 1994. Furthermore, for the first time on record, the nominal (non-inflation adjusted) income of the median, or typical, household actually fell, from $50,303 in 2008 to $49,777 in 2009. Inflation was negative from 2008 to 2009, dropping by 0.4%, so real (inflation-adjusted) income did slightly better, dropping $335, or -0.7%, from $50,112 in 2008 to $49,777 in 2009.

CLICK HERE for the full analysis of Census data regarding income and poverty by EPI economists Elise Gould and Heidi Shierholz.

Note:  For analysis of Census data regarding health insurance coverage, see Decline in employer-sponsored health coverage, by Elise Gould, director of health policy research at EPI.

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