US poverty rate unchanged even as incomes fall

The percentage of Americans living in poverty is statistically unchanged from 2010's record high, even as household income fell, a US Census report says.

The poverty rate was 15% in 2011, meaning 46.2 million Americans were in poverty, staying flat after three previous years of increases.

Real median income of households in the country dropped by 1.5%.

The average poverty threshold for a family of four in 2011 was $23,021 (14,300).

Income inequality, as measured by the Gini index, increased by 1.6% in 2011, the first time there has been an annual rise in the index since 1993.

The percentage of Americans lacking health insurance fell to 15.7% from 16.3%, the report also said.

Poverty is the US reached a record high in 2010, at 15.1%.