Vermont Household Income

New Census Bureau data released this week on poverty, income and health insurance painted a bleak picture of the American economy in 2007, a year before the housing market collapsed and energy prices soared. In Vermont, the median household income dropped to $50,423, a 4.7 percent decline that was the second-steepest in the country, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the rich are getting richer. Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute agreed with Senator Bernie Sanders that

New Census Bureau data released this week on poverty, income and health insurance painted a bleak picture of the American economy in 2007, a year before the housing market collapsed and energy prices soared. In Vermont, the median household income dropped to $50,423, a 4.7 percent decline that was the second-steepest in the country, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, the rich are getting richer. Jared Bernstein of the Economic Policy Institute agreed with Senator Bernie Sanders that the income gap hasn't been so wide since the Great Depression, The Nation reported online on Wednesday. Bernstein said the concentration of wealth in the richest 1 percent of Americans is greater than at any time since 1928, and while the economy expanded in the 2000s, that growth clearly failed to reach most households. "Never before has poverty been higher and median income for working-age households lower at the end of a multi-year economic expansion than at the beginning," added Robert Greenstein, executive director of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

In the last seven years, the vast majority of Americans' incomes are down, more families are going without health insurance, and millions more are living in poverty. According to the Census Bureau, real median household income for the nation decreased 0.6 percent from $50,557 in 2000 to $50,233 in 2007. Americans living in poverty increased by nearly 5.7 million since 2000 and the poverty rate has risen more than a full percentage point since 2000. The poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5 percent, increasing slightly from its level of 12.3 percent in 2006. Today, 37.3 million Americans are living in poverty. The number of people without health insurance coverage increased by 18.8 percent or 7.2 million Americans from 2000 to 2007. The uninsured rate fell slightly last year, mainly due to increases in government coverage.

To read The Associated Press article on household income in Vermont, click here.

To read about the Census Bureau report in The Nation, click here.