Thursday, September 15, 2016

Household incomes decline in rural areas in 2015 even as they rose elsewhere

UPDATE, Sept. 17: The New York Times says that when rural is more broadly defined, rural incomes actually rose.

Daily Yonder graphic
Household incomes are on the rise nationally and in urban areas, but declined in rural communities, according to a Census Bureau survey released Tuesday. The survey found that household median income rose in 2015 for the first time since 2007, increasing about $2,800 to $56,516, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. Median incomes rose 7.3 percent in metro areas and 4 percent in suburban areas, but dropped 2 percent in rural areas.

When it comes to poverty, metro areas decreased by 2 percent and suburban ones by 1 percent, while poverty increased 0.2 percent in rural areas, Marema writes. "The absolute number of people living in federally defined poverty in rural America actually decreased from 2014 to 2015. But the percentage of people living in poverty climbed because the overall rural population shrunk. Non-metro population in 2015 was about 44 million, a decline of about 11 percent from the 2014 rural population estimate of about 50 million, the report said."

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