Also released today were tabulations from
the 2004 American Community Survey (ACS), some of which are included
in the report: Income,
Earnings and Poverty from the 2004 American Community Survey
The ACS is a powerful new tool. In the
past, local policymakers had to choose between using old local
data from the last census and new national data. The ACS provides
a new level of local timeliness, giving policymakers current local
data. Gathered from the largest household survey in the United
States, the ACS data herein is based on the collection of information
from 800,000 addresses sampled during the 2004 survey period.
The fact sheet, Differences
Between the Income and Poverty Estimates From the American Community
Survey and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic
provides information on the differences in concepts and purposes
of the ACS and the CPS.
Current Population Survey
The 2005 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic
Supplement shows the following results:
- 2004 marked the second consecutive year in which real median
household income showed no change.
Race and Hispanic Origin
- Real median household income did not change between 2003
and 2004 for non-Hispanic whites, blacks or Asians or for
households with Hispanic householders.
- Black households had the lowest median income in 2004 ($30,134)
among race groups. Asian households had the highest median
income ($57,518). The median income for non-Hispanic white
households was $48,977. Median income for Hispanic households
- Comparison of two-year moving averages (2002-2003 and 2003-2004)
showed that the real median income for households with householders
who reported American Indian and Alaska native as their race
was statistically unchanged. The same was true for native
Hawaiian and other Pacific islander households.
- Real median household income remained unchanged between 2003
and 2004 in three of the four census regions — Northeast
($47,994), West ($47,680) and South ($40,773). The exception
was the Midwest, where income declined 2.8 percent, to $44,657.
The difference in income between the Northeast and West was
not statistically significant.
- The South continued to have the lowest median household income
of all four regions. The Northeast and West had the highest
incomes among regions.
- Real median income remained unchanged for native as well
as for foreign-born households between 2003 and 2004. Native
and foreign-born households had a median income in 2004 of
$45,319 and $39,421, respectively.
- Real median earnings of men age 15 and older who worked full-time,
year-round declined 2.3 percent between 2003 and 2004, to
$40,798. Women with similar work experience saw their earnings
decline by 1.0 percent, to $31,223. Reflecting the larger
fall in the earnings of men, the ratio of female-to-male earnings
for full-time, year-round workers was 77 cents on the dollar,
up from 76 cents in 2003.
- There were 37.0 million people in poverty (12.7 percent)
in 2004, up from 35.9 million (12.5 percent) in 2003.
- There were 7.9 million families in poverty in 2004, up from
7.6 million in 2003. The poverty rate for families remained
unchanged at 10.2 percent. The poverty rate and the number
in poverty showed no change for the different type of families.
- As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated
for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average
poverty threshold for a family of four in 2004 was an income
of $19,307; for a family of three, $15,067; for a family of
two, $12,334; and for unrelated individuals, $9,645.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting
a single race only.)
- In 2004, the poverty rate declined for Asians (9.8 percent
in 2004, down from 11.8 percent in 2003), remained unchanged
for Hispanics (21.9 percent) and blacks (24.7 percent) and
rose for non-Hispanic whites (8.6 percent in 2004, up from
8.2 percent in 2003).
- The poverty rate of American Indians and Alaska natives did
not change when comparing two-year averages for 2002-2003
and 2003-2004. The same was true of native Hawaiians and other
- For all children under 18, both the 2004 poverty rate (17.8
percent) and the number in poverty (13.0 million) were unchanged
- The poverty rate increased for people 18 to 64 years old (from
10.8 percent in 2003 to 11.3 percent in 2004), but declined
for those age 65 and older (from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8
percent in 2004).
- The native-born population had increases in both their poverty
rate (from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 12.1 percent in 2004) and
their number in poverty (from 30.0 million in 2003 to 31.0
million in 2004). Foreign-born naturalized citizens had a
2004 poverty rate of 9.8 percent, compared with 21.6 percent
for those who had not become citizens; both rates were unchanged
- The Midwest was the only region to show an increase in their
poverty rate – 11.6 percent in 2004, up from 10.7 percent
in 2003. In 2004, the poverty rates for the Northeast (11.6
percent), South (14.1 percent) and West (12.6 percent) were
unchanged from 2003. The South continued to have the highest
Health Insurance Coverage
- The percentage of the nation’s population without health
insurance coverage remained unchanged, at 15.7 percent in
- The percentage of people covered by employment-based health
insurance declined from 60.4 percent in 2003 to 59.8 percent
- The percentage of people covered by government health insurance
programs rose in 2004, from 26.6 percent to 27.2 percent,
driven by increases in the percentage of people with Medicaid
coverage, from 12.4 percent in 2003 to 12.9 percent in 2004.
- The proportion and number of uninsured children did not change
in 2004, remaining at 11.2 percent or 8.3 million.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting
a single race only.)
- The uninsured rate in 2004 was 11.3 percent for non-Hispanic
whites and 19.7 percent for blacks, both unchanged from 2003.
The uninsured rate for Asians declined from 18.8 percent to
- The uninsured rate for Hispanics, who may be of any race,
was 32.7 percent in 2004 — unchanged from 2003.
- Based on a three-year average (2002-2004), 29.0 percent of
people who reported American Indian and Alaska native as their
race were without coverage, higher than the rate for native
Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders (21.8 percent) and for
those of other race groups, but lower than that of Hispanics.
Comparisons of two-year moving averages (2002-2003 and 2003-2004)
showed that the uninsured rates for American Indians and Alaska
natives and for native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders
did not change.
- While the proportion of the foreign-born population without
health insurance in 2004 (33.7 percent) was unchanged from
2003, the rate for the native-born population increased (from
13.0 percent in 2003 to 13.3 percent in 2004).
- The Midwest had the lowest uninsured rate in 2004 (at 11.9
percent), followed by the Northeast (13.2 percent), the West
(17.4 percent) and the South (18.3 percent).
American Community Survey
The national findings regarding median income and poverty rate
are consistent between the CPS and the ACS. When examining localities
of 250,000 or more residents, the 2004 American Community Survey
shows the following results concerning income, poverty and earnings:
- For counties of 250,000 or more people in 2004, median household
income ranged from $88,133 in Fairfax County, Va., to $24,778
in Hidalgo County, Texas. For cities of similar size, median
household incomes ranged from $71,765 in San Jose, Calif.,
to $24,031 in Miami, Fla.
- Among the 37 counties with populations of 1 million or more
in 2004, 32 experienced no statistically significant change
in median household income from 2003 to 2004. Three counties
(King, Wash.; Palm Beach, Fla.; and Philadelphia, Pa.) experienced
declines; two counties (Fairfax, Va.; and Orange, Calif.)
- Among counties with 250,000 or more people in 2004, poverty
rates ranged from 2.6 percent in Johnson, Kan., to 43.6 percent
in Hidalgo, Texas. Among places of a similar size, the poverty
rates ranged from 7.4 percent for Anchorage, Alaska, to 33.6
percent for Detroit.
- Among the 37 counties with 1 million or more people in 2004,
seven experienced changes in their poverty rates between 2003
and 2004. Of those seven, Broward, Fla., and Oakland, Mich.,
showed decreases, while Allegheny, Pa., Bronx, N.Y.; King,
Wash.; Nassau, N.Y.; and Wayne, Mich., had increases. Among
the nine cities of this size, New York, N.Y., saw its poverty
rate rise, while poverty in the other places remained unchanged.
- Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the
District of Columbia had among the highest median earnings
for both men and women who worked full-time, year-round.
- In each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, women’s
earnings were less than men’s in 2004. The District
of Columbia was the area with the greatest parity between
men’s and women’s earnings. There, women earned
91 cents for every dollar that men earned.
Earnings by Industry
- Among the 20 major industry sectors, men earned the most
in 2004 in the management of companies and enterprises sector
($77,754). For women, there were five sectors where median
earnings were about $40,000 or more: management of companies
and enterprises ($41,608); mining ($41,516); professional,
scientific and technical services ($41,398); utilities ($40,981);
and information ($40,447).
- In each of the major industry sectors, men earned more than
women. The sectors where the earnings gap between men and
women was the largest were management of companies and enterprises,
where women earned 54 cents for every dollar that men earned;
finance and insurance (57 cents); and professional, scientific
and technical services (60 cents).
Earnings by Occupation
- Among the 22 major occupational groups, men earned the most
in legal occupations, such as lawyers, judges and law clerks
(more than $100,000). Among women, those in computer and mathematical
occupations had the highest median earnings ($56,585).
- Among the major occupational groups, women’s earnings
as a percentage of men’s earnings were about 90 percent
or higher for the following groups: installation, maintenance
and repair; community and social services; construction and
extraction; and healthcare support. In contrast, women’s
earnings as a percentage of men’s earnings were about
65 percent or less for legal occupations, sales and related
occupations and healthcare practitioner and technical occupations.
Estimates from the CPS ASEC may not match
the estimates from the ACS because of differences in the questionnaires,
data collection methodology, reference period, processing procedures,
etc. Both are surveys and are subject to sampling and nonsampling
errors. All comparisons made in the report have been tested and
found to be statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence
level, unless otherwise noted.
For additional information on the CPS
data, visit <http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/p60_229sa.pdf>.
For additional information on ACS data, visit <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/Accuracy/Accuracy1.htm>.