The median U.S. household income reached $61,372 last year — its highest level ever, the U.S. Census reported Wednesday.
The new median figure, meaning that half of U.S. families earned more money and half less, was a reflection of the robust U.S. economy, the world's largest, that expanded 4.1 percent in the April-to-June period even as the unemployment rate held steady in August at 3.9 percent. The 2017 household income was 1.8 percent higher than the $60,309 figure in 2016.
Middle-class income in the U.S. has been expanding in recent years as the country continues its recovery from the steep recession of a decade ago — a time when millions of people lost their jobs, and many lost their homes through foreclosure when they no longer had enough money to make monthly home loan payments.
Now, one Census official said, many Americans are moving from part-time to full-time work, adding to their financial well-being.
With the income improvement, the Census said that 12.3 percent of the 328 million Americans are living in poverty, a slight improvement from the 12.7 percent figure in 2016. It said 8.8 percent of Americans are without health insurance coverage, the same figure as the year before.