Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today indicates people in the West have been hurt more by the recession than those in the nation as a whole.
The West Coast Poverty Center at the University of Washington notes that from 2008 to 2009, the West was one of two regions where real median household income dropped. It fell from $54,896 to $53,833. The only other region to show a decline was the Midwest. Incomes elsewhere in the U.S. remained statistically unchanged.
Also, the poverty rate in the 13 Western states, including Washington, increased more than in the U.S. as a whole. In Western states, the rate increased from 13.5 percent to 14.8 percent in 2009. In the U.S., the rate increased from 13.2 percent to 14.3 percent, or one in seven people in poverty.
The share of people without health insurance also increased from 2008 to 2009, from 15.4 percent to 16.7 percent nationally and from 17.4 percent to 18.3 percent in the West.
For more information, contact Rachel Lodge, administrative director of the West Coast Poverty Center, at 206-616-2858 or firstname.lastname@example.org.