- Associated Press - Thursday, September 18, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Household incomes in Michigan rose 1.7 percent in 2013 after years of decline, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Census data released Thursday show the percentage of Michigan residents living in poverty was the same as in 2012, about 17 percent. But it dropped slightly for children, to nearly 24 percent. The poverty line is an income of $23,550 for a family of four.

Median household income rose to about $48,300 in 2013 from $47,450 in 2012. The median was about $54,500 in 2006, before the recession.

“Overall the numbers look pretty good,” said Kurt Metzger, director emeritus of a local nonprofit analysis firm called Data Driven Detroit. “They are going in the right direction but we’ve got a long way to go to get back even close to where we were.”

The increase in income was probably caused by a rising number of people who are returning to work after unemployment, according to Metzger.

“We’ve got more jobs but they aren’t necessarily as well-paid as they were before,” he said.

The report is the “first real indication” of improvement in the state, Metzger said, but there’s still plenty of progress to be made.

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