Utah Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Remain Nearly Unchanged

Utah Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Remain Nearly Unchanged

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's income, poverty and health insurance rates had little change from 2003 to 2004, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data, and the state once again was better than the national average in all three categories.

The national poverty rate rose for the fourth consecutive year, from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004.

Utah's estimated poverty rate of 9.6 percent, for the three-year average from 2002 to 2004, was the nation's 10th lowest, according to the census report released Tuesday.

Utah's three-year average real median household income of $50,614 was the nation's 11th highest.

And with 13.4 percent of Utahns lacking health insurance, Utah had the nation's 21st lowest rate.

The data were compiled from the 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey of 100,000 households nationwide. The report covered the calendar year 2004 for national estimates, and the three-year average from 2002 to 2004 for state estimates.

The report shows the number of people without health insurance nationwide rose by 800,000 in one year, although the percentage of uninsured remained unchanged at 15.7 percent. The national median household income remained statistically unchanged between 2003 and 2004, at $44,473.

Robert Spendlove, manager of demographic and economic analysis for the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, said the figures show "Utah continues to have strong economic growth and a strong presence of social factors."

Spendlove said all of Utah's relative rankings improved since last year's 2001-2003 average, when Utah ranked 12th in household income, 17th in persons in poverty, and 28th in persons without health insurance.

Spendlove said Utah's median household income tends to rank relatively high, despite the state's low per capita income because of a high dependent population.

"The likely scenario is the husband works full time at a traditional job, and the wife works part time. ... The dual income raises the state's median household income," Spendlove said.

Heather Tritten, director of community and government relations for Utah Issues, said Utah's flat poverty data is "neither good news nor bad news.

"We're not in the recovery mode," she said. "Jobs aren't paying enough for people to move out of poverty."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast