Over the last few weeks, the U.S. Census has released data showing that Minnesota has been sliding backwards during the current decade. Earlier this month, we blogged about how employer-sponsored health care has declined significantly since 2000-01.
Now, new Census data shows that median household income is falling and poverty is on the rise.
Minnesota’s median household income started falling in the wake of the 2001 recession. Back in 2001, Minnesota’s median household income reached $60,606 (adjusted for inflation). That turned out to be the high point of the decade. The Census data released last week reveals that the state’s median household income fell to $57,288 in 2008, a five percent decline from where median income was during the last recession.
Back in 2000, Minnesota’s child poverty rate was 8.6 percent and the overall poverty rate was at 6.9 percent. However, Census data released today reveals that Minnesota’s child poverty rate rose to 10.9 percent in 2008, and overall poverty increased to 9.6 percent, both statistically significant increases. Nationally, the poverty rate has also increased, from 12.2 percent in 2000 to 13.2 percent in 2008. Although Minnesota’s poverty rate remains below the national average, poverty has grown more quickly in Minnesota.
And remember, these figures are from 2008 and do not reflect the full impact of the current recession – which really bottomed out in 2009. It’s very possible that we will experience a further decline in median household income and an increase in poverty when the 2009 figures are released next year.