The US Census Bureau is launching a series of data releases starting today, September 12th

The Maine Children’s Alliance (MCA) uses data to inform our policy framework and to provide a focused, substantive and professional voice for all Maine children. So, for data-users like us, today is an important one, as it marks the first in a series of dates when the U.S. Census Bureau releases information about poverty, health, and economic well-being.

Today’s release consisted of data from the 2011 Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC). These findings are contained in the report Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011 and on-line:

In 2011, the nations’ official poverty rate was 15.0 percent, with 46.2 million people in poverty. As can be seen in the graph below, the nation’s children have been hit hardest by the recession. In 2011, 13.7 percent of people 18 to 64 (26.5 million) were in poverty compared with 8.7 percent of people 65 and older (3.6 million) and 21.9 percent of children under 18 (16.1 million).

Below is a summary of other findings from the 2011 CPS data:


  • Median family household income declined by 1.7 percent in real terms between 2010 and 2011 to $62,273.
  • In 2011, real median household income was 8.1 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession, and was 8.9 percent lower than the median household income peak that occurred in 1999.

Health Insurance

  • In 2011, 9.7 percent of children under 19 (7.6 million) were without health insurance.
  • The uninsured rate for children in poverty (13.8 percent) was higher than the rate for all children (9.4 percent).

In the coming weeks, MCA will be keeping a close watch on the U.S. Census Bureau’s data releases that occur from now until December. We will share state and county-level data for poverty, health, and economic well-being as it is made available.

In the meantime, the 2012 Maine KIDS COUNT Data Book continues to be a comprehensive report on the physical, social, economic and educational well-being of Maine children.



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