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Latest Data from Census Bureau’s American Community Survey

Posted September 25, 2013

The latest American Community Survey (ACS) data was released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 19.  Here’s a brief rundown on what the newest data shows from a few places across the web.

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Matters blog post on the estimates:

The median annual income level among all Vermont households in 2012 was $53,840, according to Census Bureau American Community Survey estimates released last week.  This income level is not different in a statistically significant way from the state’s 2011 estimate, when expressed in 2012 dollars.   Looking back further to compare 2012 with 2000 shows the same stagnancy, in terms of real median household income in Vermont.   By comparison, the nationwide median has declined by 6.6% since 2000.

These income estimates are part of last week’s release of the “1-year” results from 2012 American Community Survey.   In Vermont, this means that 2012 estimates are now available at the statewide level, for Chittenden County, and for the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan statistical area.   Rolling averages comprised of 3 years of survey results for 2010-2012 will be released on October 24, 2013 which will cover several additional Vermont locations.

Estimates for all Vermont towns and counties will be released on December 5, 2013 when the ACS “5-year” estimates are released  which consist of averages of five years (2008-2012) worth of survey results.

VTDigger on the latest numbers from the Census and what some of those numbers reveal for the most challenged populations in the state:

Poverty in Vermont remains a challenge since the economic recession, despite persistent improvements in the overall unemployment rate. The disparity is replicated nationwide, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Poverty rates are estimates based on surveys of sample population. They’re not hard and fast numbers, so they come with margins of error. Technically, Vermont’s overall poverty rate in 2012, according to the American Community Survey’s one-year estimates, could have been anywhere between 11 and 12.6 percent.

The ACS Data shows continued growth in the rental sector.  Nationally, one out of four renters are spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition has more:

According to the data, renters make up 36.1% of all households in the country, up from 35.4% in 2011 and 32.7% in 2006. This surge in the number of renters has caused rental vacancy rates to fall from 7.4% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012. There was no statistically significant change in either median gross rent or median household income from 2011. In 2012, median gross rent was at $884. The median household income was at $51,371; however, the median household income for renters was just $31,888.

For renters earning less than the median household income, the cost of housing remains a major obstacle. There were 13.5 million renter households earning less than $20,000 annually in 2012, and 76% of these households paid more than 30% of their income towards their housing costs. Overall, 48% of renters experienced this level of unaffordable cost burden, and one out of every four renters paid more than half of their income towards rent and utilities.

For more information:

Housing Matters: Vermont Median Household Income Remained Unchanged in 2012

VTDigger: Latest Poverty Numbers Reveal the Most Challenged Populations

NLIHC: Newest ACS Data Shows Continued Growth in Rental Sector


Unlike rest of country, Vermont’s median income rose in 2011

Posted September 21, 2012

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau, Housing Matters, VHFA, September 20, 2012

“Vermont was the only state that showed in increase in real median income betweeen 2010 and 2011, according to estimates released today from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The median household income in Vermont was $52,776 in 2011, up 4% from $50,707 in 2012.

Rising incomes helped to bring down both the percentage and number of people in poverty in Vermont. The Vermont poverty rate declined from 12.7% to 11.5%, as an estimated 7,000 residents were lifted above the poverty line. Vermont was the only state to experience a decline in poverty in 2011…”

Link to Full Housing Matters Article

PDF of Full Article


New State and Local Poverty Data Out Today


By: The Coalition on Human Needs, September 20, 2012

“Today the Census Bureau released American Community Survey (ACS) data for 2011, with reports (links below) showing state and metropolitan area poverty and income, as well as a separate report showing health insurance coverage for 19 to 25 year olds – an age group that gained health care coverage through the new health care law…”

PDF of Full Press Release


VT’s Rental Vacancy Rate Drops in 2011

Posted March 5, 2012

Re-posted from VHFA’s Housing Matters – March 2, 2012

Leslie Black-Plumeau

According to annual housing vacancy statistics compiled by the Census Bureau, the estimated statewide rental vacancy rate fell in Vermont from 6.1% in 2010 to 4.2% in 2011 – the lowest in the nation, with the exception of Oregon. Nationally, the rental vacancy rate was 9.5% in 2011.

Vermont’s owner vacancy rate remained about the same in 2011 at 1.7%. The national owner vacancy rate was 2.5%.

Review the Census Reports

Link to original Housing Matters Announcement


Census estimates confirm decline in household income and increased poverty

Posted September 26, 2011

Census Estimates Confirm Decline in Household Income and Increased Poverty

September 23, 2011

The recession’s longstanding toll on the incomes of Vermont households is shown clearly in estimates released by the Census Bureau yesterday.   The median income of a household in the state dropped to $49,406 in 2010 from $51,618 in 2009.   The poverty rate among Vermont households rose to 12.7% up from 11.4% in 2009.    Poverty among the state’s children rose particularly high–to an alarming 16.7% in 2010 up from 13.3% in 2009.

Across the nation, poverty rose in 49 of the 50 states.    In total, 46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010– the highest number in the 52 years the Census Bureau has been publishing figures on it.  Median household incomes across the country fell to levels last seen in 1996.

The Census Bureau has recently released the results of two national surveys pertaining to household income and poverty–the American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey


New Estimates About Characteristics of Vermont Households Released

September 22, 2011

The Census Bureau released new estimates today that provide information about the characteristics of residents and homes in Vermont and its counties in 2010.    These estimates are based on the annual American Community Survey (ACS), which asks a sample of Vermonters questions about their home and the household members living there.

While the decenniel Census provided counts of people and households, ACS estimates provide valuable information about the characteristics of Vermont residents.

Here’s a sample of the types of information collected through the ACS:

  • § Total monthly housing costs
  • § Household income
  • § Type of home heating fuel
  • § Age of the household members

VHFA’s researchers are available to speak to members of the media about ACS data pertaining to Vermont’s housing market and the housing situations of low- and moderate-income people.  Inquiries may be directed to Research and Communications Coordinator, Leslie Black-Plumeau

We’re currently reviewing the data and will share highlights as we complete our analyses.

Access the ACS 2010 estimates.

Due to the small size of the ACS sample in some Vermont communities, data users are advised to carefully consider the error ranges provided by the Census Bureau with each estimate.