Also worth noting: In the current economy, this apparently passes for good news, in the sense that economists thought the poverty rate would be higher.
Still, the report showed a decline in the incomes of middle-class Americans, offering a reminder that many American families have yet to experience gains from the weak economic recovery.
Median household income, adjusted for inflation, was $50,054 last year, officials said, a decrease of 1.5 percent from 2010. The level was about 8 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the recession began. The measure peaked in 1999, when the median income for American households reached $53,252.
Another important finding in this report: income inequality is still worsening. “The top end took a whack in the recession, but they’ve gotten back on their feet,“ Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard, told The New York Times. “Everyone else is still down for the count.”