Today’s Census data contains a lot of good news—the overall poverty rate for the country fell 1.2 percentage points to 13.5 percent in 2015 while the median household income for the nation was up 5.2% to $56,500 in 2015. These are meaningful improvements that indicate that many American families are starting to see real economic gains since the Great Recession.
Despite this good news though, not everyone in America fared equally. The findings reported by the Census Bureau were striking for millennial women: in 2015, the “poverty gap” between men and women was largest for millennial women. The poverty rate for women age 18 to 24 was 5.3 percentage points higher than for men age 18 to 24 and the poverty rate for women age 25 to 34 was 6.1 percentage points higher than for men in the same age group. In fact, millennial women ages 18 to 34 were much more likely than their male counterparts to be in poverty. They were also much more likely than women of any other age group to be poor.
In a year with much good news to celebrate, this data shows that more needs to be done to ensure that the economy works for all Americans.