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LI household incomes still lower than recession levels, Census Bureau says

Median household incomes in Nassau and Suffolk counties last year remained below those of five years ago, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Thursday, reflecting national figures showing the struggle to rebound after the recession.

Nassau's median household income in 2013 was an estimated $96,193, below the $100,849 estimate for 2009 included in the 2013 American Community Survey. That survey provided comparison figures for five years, adjusting for inflation.

Suffolk's median household income last year was $85,439, below 2009's survey estimate of $90,785.

Year-to-year changes for the counties diverged: Nassau's 2013 median was an increase from 2012's $94,548, while Suffolk's dropped from $87,359 in 2012. Neither change was statistically significant, the bureau said.

New York State's median household income went from $59,202 in 2009 to $57,369 in 2013.

A Census Bureau report said the nation's median household income of $51,939 was 8 percent lower than the 2007 median of $56,436 -- the year before the start of the recession. The current figure also is 8.7 percent lower than the highest-recorded median income of $56,895, which occurred in 1999.

"We haven't yet recovered to the pre-2001-recession peak," Victoria Velkoff, chief of the bureau's social, economic and housing statistics division, told reporters Tuesday when national data were released.

In addition to median income, poverty rates and health insurance coverage data for states and areas with populations of at least 65,000 were released Thursday.

The poverty threshold for a family of four in 2013 was $23,834.

Nassau's poverty rate last year was 6.1 percent, down from 2012's 6.6 percent. For Suffolk, the rate was 7.3 percent in 2013 and 6.9 percent in 2012.

The changes in poverty rates in the two counties were not statistically significant, the survey said.

Of the 39 counties in New York State that met the survey's 65,000-and-up population threshold, Nassau and Suffolk had the second- and third-lowest poverty rates in 2013, respectively. Putnam County's 4.4 percent was lowest among those 39 counties.

The poverty rate for both Nassau and Suffolk remained higher than it was in 2009, when Nassau's rate was 5.2 percent and Suffolk's was 5.3 percent.

Nassau and Suffolk differed on poverty-rate trends for children.

The rate for those under 18 in Nassau last year was 8.6 percent last year, compared with 7.4 percent in 2009 -- a change that was not statistically significant, the survey said. But the changes in Suffolk were. Suffolk's child poverty rate went from 6.5 percent in 2009 to 9.5 percent in 2013.

New York State's 2013 poverty rate was 16 percent, virtually unchanged from 15.9 percent the year before.

The percentage of Nassau residents without health insurance in 2013 -- 9.1 percent -- was not statistically different from the 8.8 percent without it in 2012, the survey said.

Suffolk, however, saw a statistically significant decrease in the rate of those without health insurance during the period -- 10.1 percent in 2012 to 9.2 percent in 2013.

There was an even greater drop in uninsured children on Long Island over five years.

Uninsured children in Nassau were estimated at 3.7 percent last year, down from 5.2 percent in 2009. Suffolk's uninsured children went to 2.9 percent in 2013, from 5 percent in 2009.

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