Poverty Statistics

The latest census estimates (2017) show a very small decline in the poverty rate compared to the previous year. For North Carolina, the drop is not statistically significant–a real blow considering we’re now 7 years out of the recession. This might be as low as it gets.

Poverty rate, 1979-2017

Chart of US and NC poverty rate, 1979-2017

Source: Decennial census and ACS 1-Year Estimates

Median household income is finally reaching (NC) or surpassing (US) 2007 pre-recession measures. Neither has recovered its 2000 peak however, which was $61,786 (US) and $57,652 (NC). 2000 was also the year in which NC median household income got closest to the US number, a gap that now stands at about $7,500.
Median household income, 1979-2017

Chart of median household income 1979-2017

Source: Decennial census and ACS 1-Year Estimates

Poverty and income varies widely by who you are. Children and women experience poverty at higher rates. The poverty rate for African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanic residents of NC is more than double that for whites. Median income for African American households is 66% of that for white households.

Poverty rate by age and gender

Chart of poverty rate by certain groups

Source: 2017 ACS 1-Year Estimates

Poverty rate by race and ethnicity

Chart of poverty rate by race and ethnicity

Source: 2017 ACS 1-Year Estimates