Omaha Public Radio News
7:52 am
Mon September 20, 2010

Nebraska's poverty rate, median income down in 2009

Omaha, NE – Nebraska's poverty rate fell in 2009, but so did the state's median household income.

That's according to national and state economic data released last week. The Current Population Survey measures poverty, income, and the percentage of people with health insurance. Nebraska's poverty rate was 9.9 percent last year, compared to 10.6 percent in 2008.

David Drozd is with UNO's Center for Public Affairs Research. He says the Survey is generally positive for Nebraska. "Nebraska's held up well in this downturn relative to the rest of the United States, and that doesn't mean there isn't pain here but relatively speaking, we've done a good job of moving forward and hopefully that will continue here as we go in to the future," Drozd says.

The state's median household income fell to $49,595 in 2009 from its 2008 level of $50,535. Drozd says farm income was down during that time. Also, he believes the numbers were affected by households with two incomes previously that now only have one.

Also, the Current Population Survey shows more Nebraskans had health insurance last year. In 2009, 11.5 percent of Nebraskans were uninsured. That's down slightly from 2008's 11.9 percent.

The Current Population Survey includes data from 21 of Nebraska's 93 counties. A full report on poverty, income and health care in all counties is expected at the end of the month.