2009 September 20 Sunday
US 2008 Household Income Decline

A recent US Census Bureau report has a number of interesting facts about income, poverty, and health insurance coverage. 2008 was not fun for most people.

Between 2007 and 2008, the real median income of non-Hispanic white households declined 2.6 percent (to $55,530); for blacks, it declined 2.8 percent (to $34,218); for Asians, it declined 4.4 percent (to $65,637); and for Hispanics, it declined 5.6 percent (to $37,913). Except for the difference between the declines for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic households, all other differences between the declines were not statistically significant.

Since whites are a shrinking portion of the US population and Asians as a percentage are not growing fast the growth of Hispanics and blacks will cause a decline in overall US per capita income. Peak Oil will also cause a decline in overall per capita income.

Working men earn bigger bucks than working women.

In 2008, the earnings of women who worked full time, year-round was 77 percent of that for corresponding men, down from 78 percent in 2007. The real median earnings of men who worked full time, year-round declined by 1.0 percent between 2007 and 2008, from $46,846 to $46,367. For women, the corresponding drop was 1.9 percent, from $36,451 to $35,745.

But the industries hardest hit in this recession (e.g. manufacturing, mining) are male-dominated. So the recession has been called a mancession. Whereas health, education, and government - all industries that employ more women - have done well in this recession. In May 2009 the male unemployment rate was 10.5% while the female unemployment rate was 8%. A 2.5% gap.

Obama's attempts to extend health insurance to more people would benefit blacks and Hispanics far more than whites.

The uninsured rate and number of uninsured for non-Hispanic whites increased in 2008 to 10.8 percent and 21.3 million, from 10.4 percent and 20.5 million in 2007. The uninsured rate and number of uninsured for blacks in 2008, meanwhile, were not statistically different from 2007, at 19.1 percent and 7.3 million. The uninsured rate for Asians in 2008, 17.6 percent, was not statistically different from 2007.

The percentage of uninsured Hispanics decreased to 30.7 percent in 2008, from 32.1 percent in 2007. The number of uninsured Hispanics was not statistically different in 2008, at 14.6 million.

Based on a three-year average (2006-2008), 31.7 percent of people who reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage. The three-year average uninsured rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders was 18.5 percent.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 September 20 11:07 PM  Economics Living Standards

averros said at September 21, 2009 12:23 AM:

> Obama's attempts to extend health insurance to more people would benefit blacks and Hispanics far more than whites.

Payback time.

"Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods." -- H.L.Mencken

sg said at September 24, 2009 3:13 PM:

In the comments section at gnxp.com someone posted a link to a study showing that virtually all of the decline in household income is due to divorce. Basically all the liberal whining about the poor getting poorer boils down to the poor making stupid decisions. Also, there is no real poverty in the USA. The poor are more likely to be overweight than the wealthy. Let's use our brains. If people have enough money to overeat, but not to pay their bills, and don't have the sense to get a roommate (or two or three) to make ends meet, they are their own worst enemies, not corporations or The Man.

Clarium said at September 26, 2009 8:36 AM:

No, the liberal whining is correct... the main reason the Swedish government works because it makes the correct assumption about humans: one would be do better if you treat people like little children. The Swedish government eschews the personal responsibility bullshit, and assumes that people are not competent enough to take charge of their own lives. And yes, most people would be happy if they lived in a Peter Pan like state in Sweden than having "sense" to get a roommate.

So, yes, I want the government to manage its citizens like little children who need their mommy (the state) to protect them. If the government adopts that policy, the world will be better off.

And no, in Sweden, divorce doesn't result in poverty.

And yes, I will be happy to sacrifice right wing "ideals" such as "freedom" and "liberty" to the supreme God, the loving benevolent welfare state.

Randall Parker said at September 26, 2009 10:56 AM:


The reason Sweden works is it is populated by Swedes. You keep trying to forget that.

Liberal whining is incorrect because liberal whining is based on incorrect assumptions about human nature.

Clarium said at September 26, 2009 11:13 AM:

Ok fine, Randall, fine... Sweden also works because its population is like well-behaved children. Other people from other ethnic groups are like incorrigible children that cannot be managed properly. It is easy to manage well behaved children, than ones who simply want to cause trouble.

But, I stand my assertion that it is best to treat most people like children.

sg said at September 27, 2009 3:08 PM:

Treat people like children?

Like, do what I say or else!

Is that what you mean?

If you don't clean your room, you can't watch TV.

I am all for that. No work. No dinner.

Doesn't sound like socialism however. Sounds like cause and effect, incentive/reward.

Clarium said at September 27, 2009 6:01 PM:

I said "mommy." I wasn't proposing something paternalistic. The Swedes are more like twelve years olds, not two years; they do not need ot be threatened, but they do need their mommy (the welfare state.)

The Swedes say that to some of the unemployed... you do not get welfare money unless you attend a boring and meaningless course so you show up on the statistics in "labor market political activities" as opposed to being unemployed. I suppose it is better to be in those pointless courses where you can complain about your misfortune with your comrades than watching infomericals about juice extractors or earning minimum wage in the US.

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