- The median household income in 2009 was not statistically different from the 2008 median in real terms.
- The poverty rate increased between 2008 and 2009.
- The uninsured rate and number of people without health insurance increased between 2008 and 2009.
The press hyped the increase in the poverty rate, and these data will certainly be featured in this year's congressional election. At the same time, the fact that the median household income did not change between those two years has to be seen as an encouraging economic sign. To be sure, some groups dropped a bit and others gained a bit, but overall there was not much movement with respect to overall household income, and the Gini coefficient of income inequality was also unchanged between 2008 and 2009.
These data are not from the 2010 census, of course, and those data will not become available until New Year's Eve, according to the Census Directors's blog. In the meantime, though, we will have lots of other data coming our way as we prepare for the "big show."