U.S. poverty rate flat, 48 million people uninsured: Census
(Reuters) - The number of Americans living in poverty remained steady last year at 15 percent after rising for several years in the wake of the recession, while the number of people without health insurance fell slightly to 48 million, U.S. government data released on Tuesday showed.
The Census Bureau in its annual report said about 46.5 million Americans were living in poverty last year, little changed from 46.2 million in 2011.
The Census data also showed the 2012 median U.S. income was $51,017, also statistically unchanged from the previous year.
The share of Americans without health insurance coverage - another key indicator economic of well-being - was 15.4 percent in 2012 compared with 15.7 percent in 2011.
About 48 million people were uninsured in 2012 compared with 48.6 million in 2011, a change the Census Bureau described as statistically insignificant. The number of people with health insurance increased to 263.2 million in 2012 from 260.2 million in 2011, the bureau said.
The uninsured rate for people ages 19 to 25 fell to 27.2 percent, down from 27.7 percent a year earlier, and for ages 26 to 34 year fell to 27.2 percent from 27.5 percent a year earlier.
Employment-based insurance coverage fell to 54.9 percent from 55.1 percent. The rate of people insured through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid rose to 32.6 percent from 32.2 percent.
The rate of uninsured by race fell the most for the Asian population to 15.1 percent from 16.8 percent in 2011. The uninsured rate for Hispanic people fell to 29.1 percent from 30.1 percent.
In 2012, the uninsured rate for households with annual income less than $25,000 was 24.9 percent compared with a 7.9 percent rate for those households with income of $75,000 or more, the report said.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer and Susan Heavey; Editing by Vicki Allen)