The U.S. Census Bureau released state-level data today on poverty, health insurance, income and other household characteristics in 2009. It’s a fascinating snapshot of how the Great Recession and its aftermath are affecting local families. Here are a few quick hits.
(Caution: Rhode Island is small, which makes it hard to sample, and these numbers are all estimates. Also, this is data from an annual survey, not the formal 10-year Census count that was done during the spring; that information won’t be released until December.)
Households: There were 406,000 households in Rhode Island in 2009, with an average of 2.5 people each. Families made up 63% of households.
Gender and race: Rhode Island’s population of 1.1 million was slightly more female than male, with 542,000 women and 511,000 men. The median Rhode Islander was 39.4 years old in 2009, and 83% of the state’s residents were white.
Poverty: The estimated number of Rhode Islanders living below the poverty line fell slightly, from 12% in 2008 to 11.5% in 2009. The national average was 14.3%. A total of 116,378 Rhode Islanders lived in poverty last year.
Income: The median household income in Rhode Island was $54,039 in 2009, down 1.4% from the year before. Rhode Island was less unequal than the national as a whole, with a Gini coefficient of 0.457, compared with 0.469 for the U.S. (A 0 is perfect equality, while a 1 is perfect inequality.) Social Security benefits worth an average of $14,968 flowed to 29% of Rhode Island households.
Insurance: In Rhode Island, 11.3% of residents were uninsured last year. Of those who did have health insurance, 72.2% had private health insurance and 28.9% had government health insurance, such as Medicare and Medicaid.
Transportation: While 3.2% of Rhode Islanders walked to their jobs last year, the vast majority of us – 80% – drove alone to work.
Immigration: As of 2009, 13% of Rhode Islanders were born outside the U.S., and 21% of people ages 5 and up spoke a language other than English at home.
Education: In 2009, 85% of Rhode Islanders ages 25 and up had a high school diploma, with 31% having a bachelor’s degree or higher. A total of 90,000 people were enrolled in college or grad school.
Housing: The state had 542,000 housing units in 2009, though 10% of them were empty. The median cost of housing was $1,879 for homeowners with a mortgage; $890 for renters; and $637 for homeowners with no mortgage. Half of renters spent at least 30% of their incomes on housing.
(image credit: U.S. Census Bureau)