American incomes shrink with no decline in poverty

© Jessica Rinaldi
The median annual household income in the US last year fell 1.5 per cent to $53,657, according to Census Bureau data released on Wednesday.

"In 2014, real median household income was 6.5 percent lower than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession," said the Census report.

The report also showed no change in the poverty rate during the year. 46.7 million US citizens, or about 15 percent of the population, lived in poverty last year. The number hasn’t changed since 2013.

Republican Paul Ryan, chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, said the Census figures showed efforts to fight poverty were not working.

"This disappointing data, five years into an economic recovery, underscores the need for a new effort to modernize our country’s safety net programs," said Ryan in a statement.

While the report showed that the US unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 per cent, wage gains have fallen behind. Some 6.5 million Americans are working part-time because they cannot find a full-time job.

The Census Bureau also reported that the number of Americans without health insurance has dropped to 33 million, or 10.4 percent of the population, from 41.8 million, or 13.3 percent in 2013.

Under the Affordable Care Act, known commonly as Obamacare, Americans face fines if they do not have health insurance.

READ MORE: 7.5 million Americans paid Obamacare penalty – IRS