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.