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American Community Survey Statistics Give Communities Detailed Look at Income, Poverty, Health Insurance and Many other Statistics

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Cross-post from Random Samplings, the official blog of the U.S. Census Bureau

The following blog was written by James B. Treat

The American Community Survey statistics released today provide information for geographies with populations of 65,000 or more on many different topics, including income, poverty and health insurance. While national level statistics on these topics were released earlier this week from the Current Population Survey, many states and communities also rely on getting this information from the American Community Survey.

These ACS statistics that cover 2012 will be followed by new releases of statistics from data collected over three- and five-year periods later this year, allowing you to explore these topics for every community in the nation.

As the nation’s most comprehensive survey, the American Community Survey is unique in its ability to produce annual statistics on housing, economic and population measures for even the smallest geographic areas and population groups.  With today’s release, you can find statistics on a variety of topics including commute times, housing costs, educational attainment and characteristics of veterans.

Retailers, homebuilders, police departments, and town and city planners are among the many private- and public-sector decision makers who count on these annual results.

Looking at income, poverty and health insurance statistics provided by the American Community Survey helps communities measure their economic well-being as well as plan resource needs, such as allocating funds for food, health care, job training, housing and other assistance programs.  For more information on the American Community Survey please visit census.gov/acs.

You can read more about incomepoverty and health insurance at the state and local level in the American Community Survey briefs released today. Here are a few highlights:

• Between 2011 and 2012, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oregon were the only states that showed an increase in real median household income.

• Missouri and Virginia were the only states where median household income decreased from 2011 to 2012.

• The number and percentage of people in poverty did not have a statistically significant change in 43 states and the District of Columbia between 2011 and 2012, while in three states (California, Mississippi and New Hampshire) the number and percentage of people in poverty increased.

• For 2012, states with the lowest poverty rates included New Hampshire (10.0 percent), Alaska (10.1 percent), Maryland (10.3 percent), Connecticut (10.7 percent) and New Jersey (10.8 percent). Not all of these states are statistically different from one another. States with the highest poverty rates for 2012 included Mississippi (24.2 percent), New Mexico (20.8 percent), Louisiana (19.9 percent), Arkansas (19.8 percent) and Kentucky (19.4 percent). Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky are not statistically different from one another.

• Of the 25 most populated metro areas, the Minneapolis metro area was the only one that had a statistically significant increase in private health insurance coverage for individuals under 65 from 2010 to 2012, going from 74.4 percent to 75.5 percent.

For more information, please see the news release and briefs on income, poverty and health insurance coverage.

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