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US household income hit new high in 2017

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By Agence France-Presse

US median household income rose 1.8 percent in 2017 to $61,372, while measures of poverty declined for the third straight year, according to US Census data released Wednesday.

People wait for lunch at a soup kitchen in Clarksburg, West Virginia; Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said the US administration should be "ashamed" of its poverty alleviation efforts (AFP Photo/SPENCER PLATT/MANILA BULLETIN)

People wait for lunch at a soup kitchen in Clarksburg, West Virginia; Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights said the US administration should be “ashamed” of its poverty alleviation efforts (AFP Photo/SPENCER PLATT/MANILA BULLETIN)

The report followed earlier positive data on employment and consumer confidence that point to an improving American economy near the 10th anniversary of the 2008 Financial Crisis.

At the same time, the biggest year-over-year jumps came at the highest income levels, the data show.

The official poverty rate decreased 0.4 percent from the prior year to 12.3 percent, representing 39.7 million people — though officials cautioned this was not statistically different from the 2016 level.

However, the biggest year-over-year gains in household income came at the highest levels, with the 95th percentile income at $237,034, up 3.0 percent from 2016.

By contrast, income rose just 1.1 percent at the 40th percentile to $47,110 and 2.2 percent in the 10th percentile of $14,219, according to Census data.

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