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Median U.S. household income rises again

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Staff Writer | September 12, 2017
For the second year in a row, the median household income in the United States has edged upwards.
American household income
America   According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau:
According to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the median American household earned just over $59,000 in 2016, 3.2 percent more than 2015.

While the 2016 numbers mark an all-time high for median income, officials say changes in data collection methodology enacted in 2013 make direct comparisons difficult.

It's unlikely last year's peak bests the previous all-time high, set in 1999.

One left-leaning think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, believes 2016's median household income would still be 1.6 percent below the 2007 median if not for the changes in methodology.

Still, the news offers further evidence of American economy's steady recovery.

The latest census numbers also show fewer Americans are living in poverty, and more Americans are covered by health insurance.

And while the data suggests economic gains are beginning to be accrued more broadly, the long-term trends reveal a widening wealth gap.

Over the past 10 years, the poorest fifth of American households have seen their household income decline by $571.

The wealthiest fifth of American households have increased their earnings by $13,479 over the past decade.