US Poverty Rate Dips, but Uninsured Swell

Income inequality reaches all-time high
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 29, 2007 4:30 AM CDT
A group of children make their way home from a grade school in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007, in Cincinnati. Ohio has the distinction of having two cities in the U.S. Census...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US poverty rate has finally taken a downturn for the first time in 10 years, census figures show. The poverty rate was 12.3% in 2006, down from 12.6% the previous year, and annual household income rose to $48,200. But the news isn't all rosy: the number of people without health insurance soared to a record 47 million, and income inequality has never been greater.

Fewer people have health insurance due to the continuing decline in employer-sponsored insurance coverage, census officials said. Even the income jump is misleading. It's mainly the result of more people working full-time jobs in a single household, rather than an increase in wages. The White House called them "good numbers," but Democrats see them as evidence of flawed economic policies.