The living wage for Americans across the country continues to drop, according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. But in the Census-designated southern region, of which Maryland is a part, real income numbers had a small net gain.
The average purchasing power of American families dropped 1.5 percent in 2011, standing at $50,054, with a before-tax average income at just over $62,000.
The South region, comprised of 16 states and Washington, DC, was the only region in the country to see a rise in purchasing power, however slight. The South’s median household income grew from $46,875 in 2010 (calculated using 2011 dollar values) to $46,899 in 2011—a 0.1 percent increase.
The South was also the only region to show positive changes in the poverty rate, which fell from 16.8 percent to 16 percent between 2010 and 2011, a difference of 743,000 people. The nationwide average poverty rate remained at 15 percent, with 46.2 million people at that level.
Do you continue to feel the strain of the nation's economy? What cutbacks have you made over the last year? Or, have you loosened the belt a little?