Idaho's 2011 median household income fell for the third straight year to $43,341, down .3 percent from 2010. According to new U.S. Census Bureau statistics released by the Idaho Department of Labor, Idaho's median household income has dropped 8.9 percent since the recession began in 2008.
Median household income is the level at which half of the state's households bring in more and the the other half less.
Idaho's median is the 11th lowest in the United States. Only eight other states have posted three straight years of declines. Only Nevada and Georgia recorded larger three year declines.
The statistics also showed that the number of Idahoans living in poverty last year rose to 16.5 percent from 15.7 percent in 2010, and the households receiving food stamps rose from 72,000, or 12.5 percent of all households, to more than 78,000, or 13.5 percent, in 2011. Although Hispanic households receiving food stamps fell from 20.2 percent to 16.8 percent, the number of white households receiving food stamps rose from 9.5 percent to 9.6 percent in 2011.
At the same time, 83.5 percent of the population had some kind of health coverage, up from 82.3 percent in 2010 primarily due to additional people qualifying for government health care. Those with private insurance dropped from 67.4 percent in 2010 to 66.9 percent in 2011 while those enrolled in public health care programs rose from 26.9 percent in 2010 to 28.5 percent in 2011.