The percentage of Americans living in poverty declined year-over-year for the first time since 2006 last year, according to a report released Tuesday by the United States Census Bureau.
45.3 million Americans, or 14.5% of the population, lived below the poverty line in 2013, down from 15% in 2012. The percentage of children under the age of 18 living in poverty declined to 19.9% in 2013, down from 21.8% the preceding year. It was the first recorded drop in childhood poverty since 2000.
The officially defined poverty threshold for a family of four in 2013 was $23,834.
Nonetheless, the report emphasized that the long-awaited declines in poverty were not quite large enough to be considered statistically significant improvements (i.e. definitively greater than a measurement error). The general findings of the report, entitled Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013, was that the measures of poverty had plateaued, with household income registering a statistically insignificant uptick to $51,939, an improvement of $180 over the previous year.