The Census Bureau reported that real median household income grew to $68,703 in 2019, an impressive 6.8% increase over 2018. It was the largest one-year increase in median income on record going back to 1967. It was also 45 percent more growth in a single year ($4,379) than Obama/Biden produced in their entire 8 years in office ($3,021).
As was the case throughout Trump’s first three years, the economic benefits were widespread. While the overall growth rate was 6.8%, real median income grew by an even greater 7.9% for Black Americans, 7.1% for Hispanic Americans, and 10.6% for Asian Americans. All record highs as were the new income levels for each of these groups.
As for talking points about how the Trump tax cuts benefitted only the rich, well, they were false. As incomes grew in 2019, the poverty rate plummeted 1.3 percentage points to a 60 year low of 10.5%. This was the largest reduction in poverty in over 50 years. It lifted over 4.1 million people out of poverty, the largest yearly decrease since 1966. Just for comparison purposes, over the Obama/Biden era, the number of people living in poverty increased by 787,000.
Minority groups again experienced the largest improvements. While the overall poverty rate declined 1.3 percentage points, Black poverty fell by 2.0 percentage points, Hispanic poverty fell by 1.8, and Asian poverty fell by 2.8. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) “the poverty rate fell to an all-time record low for every race and ethnic group in 2019.”
Child poverty decreased to 14.4 percent, the lowest child poverty rate observed since 1973 and down from 18 percent at the end of the Obama/Biden era. The best family welfare program truly is a job.
Let’s take a little broader view. Over the Trump administration’s first three years, between 2016 and 2019, real median household income increased 9.2% while the economy lifted 6.6 million people out of poverty. That’s the largest 3-year poverty reduction for the start of any presidency since the initial drop in 1964 when the War on Poverty began.