New Census data: Incomes inch up, poverty unchanged, race gaps and uninsured rates grow in Ohio
Posted September 26, 2019 in Press Releases
Policy Matters analysis of new data from the American Community Survey (ACS) found that incomes grew in Ohio in 2018, but that growth was unequal across race and did not make a meaningful dent in the state’s high poverty rate. The ACS is the primary source for state-level poverty and income data and serves as a report card on wellbeing, highlighting often-overlooked indicators: poverty, income and insurance coverage.
“A decade of economic expansion is bringing some gains to some Ohioans. Yet, too many are not included in the recovery, said Hannah Halbert, Policy Matters Project Director. “After more than a decade of state policies built on prioritizing tax cuts for the wealthiest and for corporations at the expense of everyday Ohioans, too many are seeing too little improvement. The longest economic expansion in the state’s history is not enough to restore incomes. Ohio has lost nearly two decades of growth,” Halbert said.
Findings for 2018, all inflation-adjusted, include:
- Typical Ohio household income increased by $773 (1.6%) in 2018, from $55,236 to $56,111. The median Ohio household is making $460 less than when the last recession began and $2,000 less than in 2000, adjusted for inflation.
- The median black household in Ohio was paid $33,590, just over half of the typical white household, a difference of more than $27,466. The gap between black and white household income grew by $1,446, about 5.6%, since 2007. Latino household earnings increased by $3,283 to $44,813, the largest bump of any ethnic group.
- The poverty rate remained high at 13.9% for all Ohioans and at 19.5% for Ohio children, both statistically the same as in 2017. There were 114,540 more Ohioans in poverty in 2018 than in 2007. Nearly one in five Ohio children, more than one in four black Ohioans (28.7%), and nearly one in four LatinoOhioans (23.8%) lived in poverty last year.
- Ohio was one of eight states that experienced a real increase in the share of people without health insurance. This was the second year in a row that Ohioans lost coverage, bringing the number of uninsured Ohioans to 744,000, up 58,000 from 2017, and bringing the share of uninsured children to 5.5%.
“Cuts, stigma, and confusion over work requirements drove people out of health insurance, hurting children and adults in Ohio,” Halbert said. Previous Medicaid expansion had dramatically increased insurance coverage in the state.
“Good policy can create an economy that works for all of us. Bad policy blocks people from sharing in the prosperity,” Halbert said. “Job growth and a low unemployment rate are not enough. Ohioans need better workplace protections, more bargaining power and real on-ramps to the middle class.”