Incomes Rose and Poverty Rate Fell for Third Straight Year, Census Data Show

American incomes rose and poverty declined for the third consecutive year in 2017, according to census figures released Wednesday that suggest more Americans are benefiting from the robust economy.

The new data, which provide a broad look at U.S. economic well-being, show that median household income increased to $61,372 last year, up 1.8% when adjusted for inflation. There were 39.7 million people in poverty last year, and that rate dropped 0.4 percentage point to its lowest level since 2006. The number of people working full time year round increased by 2.4 million in 2017.

Incomes have grown 10.4% in the past three years, and last year’s figure was the highest on record. But a change in the way the numbers are calculated over time makes comparisons imperfect, and census officials said last year’s figure wasn’t statistically different than income peaks in 1999 and 2007.

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