Also released today
were tabulations from the 2004 American Community Survey (ACS), some of
which are included in the report:
Earnings and Poverty from the 2004 American Community Survey
The ACS is a powerful new tool. In the past, local policymakers
had to choose between using old local data from the last census and new
national data. The ACS provides a new level of local timeliness, giving
policymakers current local data. Gathered from the largest household
survey in the United States, the ACS data herein is based on the
collection of information from 800,000 addresses sampled during the 2004
The fact sheet,
Differences Between the Income and Poverty Estimates From the American
Community Survey and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and
provides information on the differences in concepts and purposes of the
ACS and the CPS.
Current Population Survey
The 2005 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic
Supplement shows the following results:
- 2004 marked the second consecutive year in which real median
household income showed no change.
Race and Hispanic Origin
- Real median household income did not change between 2003 and
2004 for non-Hispanic whites, blacks or Asians or for households
with Hispanic householders.
- Black households had the lowest median income in 2004 ($30,134)
among race groups. Asian households had the highest median income
($57,518). The median income for non-Hispanic white households was
$48,977. Median income for Hispanic households was $34,241.
- Comparison of two-year moving averages (2002-2003 and 2003-2004)
showed that the real median income for households with householders
who reported American Indian and Alaska native as their race was
statistically unchanged. The same was true for native Hawaiian and
other Pacific islander households.
- Real median household income remained unchanged between 2003 and
2004 in three of the four census regions ó Northeast ($47,994), West
($47,680) and South ($40,773). The exception was the Midwest, where
income declined 2.8 percent, to $44,657. The difference in income
between the Northeast and West was not statistically significant.
- The South continued to have the lowest median household income
of all four regions. The Northeast and West had the highest incomes
- Real median income remained unchanged for native as well as for
foreign-born households between 2003 and 2004. Native and
foreign-born households had a median income in 2004 of $45,319 and
- Real median earnings of men age 15 and older who worked
full-time, year-round declined 2.3 percent between 2003 and 2004, to
$40,798. Women with similar work experience saw their earnings
decline by 1.0 percent, to $31,223. Reflecting the larger fall in
the earnings of men, the ratio of female-to-male earnings for
full-time, year-round workers was 77 cents on the dollar, up from 76
cents in 2003.
- There were 37.0 million people in poverty (12.7 percent) in
2004, up from 35.9 million (12.5 percent) in 2003.
- There were 7.9 million families in poverty in 2004, up from 7.6
million in 2003. The poverty rate for families remained unchanged at
10.2 percent. The poverty rate and the number in poverty showed no
change for the different type of families.
- As defined by the Office of Management and Budget and updated
for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, the average poverty
threshold for a family of four in 2004 was an income of $19,307; for
a family of three, $15,067; for a family of two, $12,334; and for
unrelated individuals, $9,645.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to people reporting
a single race only.)
- In 2004, the poverty rate declined for Asians (9.8 percent in
2004, down from 11.8 percent in 2003), remained unchanged for
Hispanics (21.9 percent) and blacks (24.7 percent) and rose for
non-Hispanic whites (8.6 percent in 2004, up from 8.2 percent in
- The poverty rate of American Indians and Alaska natives did not
change when comparing two-year averages for 2002-2003 and 2003-2004.
The same was true of native Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders.
- For all children under 18, both the 2004 poverty rate (17.8
percent) and the number in poverty (13.0 million) were unchanged
- The poverty rate increased for people 18 to 64 years old (from
10.8 percent in 2003 to 11.3 percent in 2004), but declined for
those age 65 and older (from 10.2 percent in 2003 to 9.8 percent in
- The native-born population had increases in both their poverty
rate (from 11.8 percent in 2003 to 12.1 percent in 2004) and their
number in poverty (from 30.0 million in 2003 to 31.0 million in
2004). Foreign-born naturalized citizens had a 2004 poverty rate of
9.8 percent, compared with 21.6 percent for those who had not become
citizens; both rates were unchanged from 2003.
- The Midwest was the only region to show an increase in their
poverty rate Ė 11.6 percent in 2004, up from 10.7 percent in 2003.
In 2004, the poverty rates for the Northeast (11.6 percent), South
(14.1 percent) and West (12.6 percent) were unchanged from 2003. The
South continued to have the highest poverty rate.
Health Insurance Coverage
- The percentage of the nationís population without health
insurance coverage remained unchanged, at 15.7 percent in 2004.
- The percentage of people covered by employment-based health
insurance declined from 60.4 percent in 2003 to 59.8 percent in
- The percentage of people covered by government health insurance
programs rose in 2004, from 26.6 percent to 27.2 percent, driven by
increases in the percentage of people with Medicaid coverage, from
12.4 percent in 2003 to 12.9 percent in 2004.
- The proportion and number of uninsured children did not change
in 2004, remaining at 11.2 percent or 8.3 million.
Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting
a single race only.)
- The uninsured rate in 2004 was 11.3 percent for non-Hispanic
whites and 19.7 percent for blacks, both unchanged from 2003. The
uninsured rate for Asians declined from 18.8 percent to 16.8
- The uninsured rate for Hispanics, who may be of any race, was
32.7 percent in 2004 ó unchanged from 2003.
- Based on a three-year average (2002-2004), 29.0 percent of
people who reported American Indian and Alaska native as their race
were without coverage, higher than the rate for native Hawaiians and
other Pacific islanders (21.8 percent) and for those of other race
groups, but lower than that of Hispanics. Comparisons of two-year
moving averages (2002-2003 and 2003-2004) showed that the uninsured
rates for American Indians and Alaska natives and for native
Hawaiians and other Pacific islanders did not change.
- While the proportion of the foreign-born population without
health insurance in 2004 (33.7 percent) was unchanged from 2003, the
rate for the native-born population increased (from 13.0 percent in
2003 to 13.3 percent in 2004).
- The Midwest had the lowest uninsured rate in 2004 (at 11.9
percent), followed by the Northeast (13.2 percent), the West (17.4
percent) and the South (18.3 percent).
American Community Survey
The national findings regarding median income and poverty rate are
consistent between the CPS and the ACS. When examining localities of
250,000 or more residents, the 2004 American Community Survey shows the
following results concerning income, poverty and earnings:
- For counties of 250,000 or more people in 2004, median household
income ranged from $88,133 in Fairfax County, Va., to $24,778 in
Hidalgo County, Texas. For cities of similar size, median household
incomes ranged from $71,765 in San Jose, Calif., to $24,031 in
- Among the 37 counties with populations of 1 million or more in
2004, 32 experienced no statistically significant change in median
household income from 2003 to 2004. Three counties (King, Wash.;
Palm Beach, Fla.; and Philadelphia, Pa.) experienced declines; two
counties (Fairfax, Va.; and Orange, Calif.) showed increase.
- Among counties with 250,000 or more people in 2004, poverty
rates ranged from 2.6 percent in Johnson, Kan., to 43.6 percent in
Hidalgo, Texas. Among places of a similar size, the poverty rates
ranged from 7.4 percent for Anchorage, Alaska, to 33.6 percent for
- Among the 37 counties with 1 million or more people in 2004,
seven experienced changes in their poverty rates between 2003 and
2004. Of those seven, Broward, Fla., and Oakland, Mich., showed
decreases, while Allegheny, Pa., Bronx, N.Y.; King, Wash.; Nassau,
N.Y.; and Wayne, Mich., had increases. Among the nine cities of this
size, New York, N.Y., saw its poverty rate rise, while poverty in
the other places remained unchanged.
- Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the
District of Columbia had among the highest median earnings for both
men and women who worked full-time, year-round.
- In each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, womenís
earnings were less than menís in 2004. The District of Columbia was
the area with the greatest parity between menís and womenís
earnings. There, women earned 91 cents for every dollar that men
Earnings by Industry
- Among the 20 major industry sectors, men earned the most in 2004
in the management of companies and enterprises sector ($77,754). For
women, there were five sectors where median earnings were about
$40,000 or more: management of companies and enterprises ($41,608);
mining ($41,516); professional, scientific and technical services
($41,398); utilities ($40,981); and information ($40,447).
- In each of the major industry sectors, men earned more than
women. The sectors where the earnings gap between men and women was
the largest were management of companies and enterprises, where
women earned 54 cents for every dollar that men earned; finance and
insurance (57 cents); and professional, scientific and technical
services (60 cents).
Earnings by Occupation
- Among the 22 major occupational groups, men earned the most in
legal occupations, such as lawyers, judges and law clerks (more than
$100,000). Among women, those in computer and mathematical
occupations had the highest median earnings ($56,585).
- Among the major occupational groups, womenís earnings as a
percentage of menís earnings were about 90 percent or higher for the
following groups: installation, maintenance and repair; community
and social services; construction and extraction; and healthcare
support. In contrast, womenís earnings as a percentage of menís
earnings were about 65 percent or less for legal occupations, sales
and related occupations and healthcare practitioner and technical
Estimates from the CPS ASEC may not match the estimates from the
ACS because of differences in the questionnaires, data collection
methodology, reference period, processing procedures, etc. Both are
surveys and are subject to sampling and nonsampling errors. All
comparisons made in the report have been tested and found to be
statistically significant at the 90-percent confidence level, unless
For additional information on ACS data, visit <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/UseData/Accuracy/Accuracy1.htm>.