Income and poverty
The largest proportion of citizens, at 16.7 percent, earn an annual household income between 50,000 to 74,999 U.S. dollars. Household income in the United States can be used to track economic status and trends across the country. After the economic recession in 2009, the distribution of household incomes has become more unequal and has made income inequality more prominent across many metropolitan areas. Household incomes can also determine if an individual is eligible for certain programs like college financial aid. Between 2000 and 2010, the poverty rate in the U.S. has increased steadily; however, in the recent years there is a trend of poverty decline among U.S. popuation, reaching 12.7 percent in 2016. About 11.2 percent of households currently earn less than 15,000 U.S. dollars annually. Based on a four-person household in the United States, earning less than 23,492 U.S. dollars annually would put a family under the poverty threshold. Some 25.21 million households currently live under 25,000 U.S. dollars per year . About a quarter of both the total Black and Hispanic populations were living below the poverty line in 2016. Child poverty has hit record high levels in the country and the U.S. was listed as having one of the highest relative rates in the developed world. Many Americans spend at least one year in their life below the poverty line between the ages of 25 and 75.