- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2001

More than 1 million Americans escaped poverty in 2000, while median household incomes stayed at record-high levels, the U.S. Census Bureau said yesterday.
The poverty rate fell from 11.8 percent in 1999 to 11.3 percent in 2000, said Daniel Weinberg, chief of the bureau's housing and household economics division.
This is the same rate as in 1979 and "virtually equals" the 11.1 percent record-low rate set in 1973, the bureau said.
The number of poor people fell 1.1 million, from 32.2 million in 1999 to 31.1 million in 2000. The number of poor families fell from 6.6 million to 6.2 million.
The 2000 data the latest of four consecutive drops in the poverty rate are part of "a larger story of economic recovery since the last recession" in the early 1990s, said Mr. Weinberg. He declined to speculate about how the current economic slowdown or the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks may affect 2001 data.
Locally, the District was one of 11 jurisdictions in which the poverty rate fell significantly the city's poverty rate declined to 17.3 percent, down 3.7 percent from the previous average. However, the District's poverty rate was very high, falling third behind New Mexico (19.3 percent poverty) and Louisiana (18.6 percent poverty).
Among racial groups nationwide, the black poverty rate fell to a record low of 22.1 percent, while rates for white non-Hispanic, Hispanic and Asian homes were essentially unchanged at 7.5 percent, 21.1 percent and 10.8 percent, respectively.
The poverty threshold for 2000 was $17,603 a year for a family of four and $13,738 for a family of three.
Nationally, median household incomes grew or matched the record-high levels seen in 1999, the bureau said.
The U.S. median income was $42,100, which means half of households had incomes greater than that amount and half had incomes lower than that amount.
Black and Hispanic households had record-high median incomes of $30,439 and $33,447, respectively.

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