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Latest Data from Census Bureau's American Community Survey

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.

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