Number of uninsured drops; poverty holds steady

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Census Bureau reports that the number of people lacking health insurance dropped by more than 1 million in 2007, the first annual decline since the Bush administration took office.

The nation's poverty rate held steady at 12.5 percent, not statistically different from the 12.3 percent in 2006. That meant there were 37.3 million people living in poverty in 2007.

The statistics released Tuesday do not take into account the consequences of the economic downturn that began late last year.

Census says 45.7 million people -- 15.3 percent of the population -- were uninsured in 2007. That's down from 47 million in 2006.

The median -- or midpoint -- household income rose slightly to $50,200, marking the third consecutive annual increase.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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