Census 2016: highlights from latest report on Canadian income levels


YDSTIE: Right. The number of people living in poverty declined by 2 and a half million in 2016, and the poverty rate fell to 12.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the nation's official household poverty rate - or families of four living on less than US$24,339 with two adults - was 12.7 per cent, down 0.8 points from the year before. For example, a pro-immigration panel at the prestigious National Academies of Science estimated in 2016 that the huge government-imposed inflow of immigrants since 1965 has imposed a hidden 5 percent "immigration tax" on Americans' pay packets.

The new Census report also takes a look at health insurance coverage in America.

Rising income inequality may have contributed to the populist sentiment that led to President Donald Trump's election victory previous year, as he campaigned on a pledge to boost middle-class wages through tax cuts and an improved jobs market.

"We're facing very precarious times", said Patricia Baker, president and CEO of the Connecticut Health Foundation, which pushes for health care access for all Connecticut residents, particularly low-income individuals.

"And so you have more earners in the household, and that is going to increase household income even if hourly wages or annual earnings haven't moved as much", she said.

The Census Bureau data paint a picture of widespread improvement in the final years of the Obama administration. While incomes are increasing, lower income households aren't recovering as quickly. However, while their poverty rates were highest, these were also the only two categories to experience any significant decline in poverty.

The increased number of older Americans living in poverty could be due to the aging of the baby boomer generation, Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

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For data nerds, September 12 was a pretty big day - the day that the Census Bureau released its yearly statistical reports on income and poverty, and on health insurance. In Connecticut, the rate dipped slightly from 9.7 percent in 2013-2014 to 9.5 in 2015-2016. The U.S. median household income was $57,617 in 2016.

OK, back to Thursday's state-level report. But experts also expressed concern about the fate of Access Health CT.

Most economists would argue that Trump hasn't been in the White House long enough to have a measurable impact on the economy, but some question if he will ever be able to implement his agenda.

While incomes rose a year ago, that's chiefly because the economy added 2.2 million full-time workers, says economist Elise Gould of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. And of course, with the future of the Affordable Care Act still up in the air, there's lots of uncertainty about where those numbers will be in the future.

Still, Baker said the national debate over healthcare has created some confusion about whether the ACA was still in place.

The county must work to keep people here, County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin said.

"Those linkages by demographic characteristics really matter", said Jennifer Robson, an assistant professor of public policy at Carleton University in Ottawa, and a member of the school's Centre for Studies on Poverty and Social Citizenship.