WASHINGTON, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The share of Americans living in poverty last year held steady after three years of hefty increases, according to government data released on Wednesday that could ease pressure on President Barack Obama as he seeks reelection in November.
The Census Bureau said the 2011 poverty rate was 15 percent, statistically unchanged from 15.1 percent in 2010. About 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty, little changed from the prior year.
Still, data from the Census Bureau also showed the 2011 median U.S. income declined 1.5 percent from 2010.
Additionally, the share of Americans lacking health insurance - another key indicator economic of well-being - fell to 15 percent in 2011 from 16.3 percent in 2010.