U.S. Incomes Up, Poverty Rate Down in 2019

U.S. Incomes Up, Poverty Rate Down in 2019

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‘This will be the late-stage expansion high watermark benchmark, if you will,’ said David Deull, principal economist at IHS Markit



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Callaghan O’Hare/Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON—American incomes rose sharply and poverty fell in the final year of the country’s decadelong economic expansion, according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday.

Median household income was $68,700 in 2019, up 6.8% from the prior year. The poverty rate was 10.5%, a drop of 1.3 percentage points from the year before.

The figures show how incomes improved during most of the last five years before the coronavirus pandemic drove the U.S. into a recession in February. When adjusted for inflation, incomes hit their highest level since 1967 last year.

“This will be the late-stage expansion high watermark benchmark, if you will,” said David Deull, principal economist at IHS Markit.

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