Fewer U.S. states show income drop, Vermont's up: Census

WASHINGTON Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:12am EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Median household income dropped in fewer U.S. states last year than in 2010, with 18 registering a fall and one state - Vermont - notching an increase, the Census Bureau said on Thursday.

Vermont's 4 percent rise in median household income last year was the first shown by a state since 2009, the Census Bureau said in its 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) breakdown of income, poverty and insurance.

The biggest decline in median household income was a 6 percent downturn in Nevada, one of the states hardest hit by the collapse in housing prices.

Household income had dropped in 35 states in the 2010 ACS.

Among states whose electoral votes could decide the November presidential election, four - Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida - showed declines in household income.

Census data released last week showed that U.S. median household income fell by 1.5 percent from the year before, to $50,054. The poverty rate was stable at 15 percent.

Among states, New Hampshire had the lowest poverty rate, at 8.8 percent, and Mississippi had the highest, with 22.6 percent, the Census Bureau said.

As for big metropolitan areas, the Washington region had the lowest percentage of poor people with 8.3 percent. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas had the highest at almost 38 percent.

In terms of insurance, no state showed a decline in the insured rate for people ages 19 to 25 from 2009 to 2011. Thirty-seven states and the District of Columbia had an increase in coverage.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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