Boston Metro Area's Income, Poverty Rate Unchanged In 2012

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The Boston metro area's median household income and poverty rate remained essentially unchanged last year, compared to 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The region's median household income was $71,738 in 2012, up ever-so-slightly from 2011 ($70,699). That's still well below the area's pre-recession 2007 median income, however, which was $75,521 (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

Meanwhile, the poverty rate for the region — which includes a wide swath of eastern Massachusetts and parts of southeastern New Hampshire — stayed at 10.7 percent last year.

As NPR reported Tuesday with the Census' release of nationwide figures, the poverty threshold for a family of four (two adults, two kids) was $23,283 in 2012.

In 2007, before the recession, the Boston metro area's poverty rate was 9.2 percent.

The Greater Boston figures follow trends across all U.S. metro areas, where both household median income and the poverty rate similarly remained unchanged in 2012.

The percentage of people without health insurance in U.S. metro regions did drop slightly, however, and a similar change was seen in the Boston area. This region's uninsured rate fell from 4.7 percent to 4.3 percent last year; across U.S. metros, the uninsured rate dropped from 15.0 percent to 14.7 percent.

(U.S. Census Bureau)
(U.S. Census Bureau)

A few other notable data points from the American Community Survey estimates:

-- An estimated 35.3 percent of Greater Boston households had income of $100,000 or more last year, while about 26 percent of households had income under $35,000.

-- The bureau: "In 2012, the median value for an owner-occupied home in the Boston metro area was $358,400, not statistically different from $356,100 in 2011. Across all U.S. metro areas, homes had a median value of $188,300 in 2012, a decrease from $191,000 in 2011."

-- Last year, 16.7 percent of the Boston metro area's residents were foreign-born, and 23.1 percent spoke a language other than English at home.

Update at 11:45 a.m.: The bureau also released some 2012 state estimates:

-- Massachusetts' median household income (PDF) was $65,339 last year. That's 1.6 percentage points above the 2011 median income.

-- The state's poverty rate (PDF) last year was 11.9 percent.

-- Massachusetts' uninsured rate (for residents under 65) (PDF) was 4.4 percent last year.

This article was originally published on September 19, 2013.

This program aired on September 19, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Twitter Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.