Median household income rose to just over $59,000 in 2016, up 3.2% from a year earlier, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday.
The second straight annual increase raised the median household income to $59,039, from $57,230 in 2015.
The latest household income figure is the highest ever reported by the Census Bureau - eclipsing the peak of $58,665 reached in 1999.
Trudi Renwick, the bureau's assistant division chief, cautioned that the census in 2013 changed how it asks households about income, making historical comparisons less than precise.
Real income grew drastically more for the top 10 percent of Americans than for the bottom 90 percent.
The poorest US households, by comparison, have a smaller share of income than ever before.
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The median household income took a serious hit during and after the Great Recession. It's the second consecutive year the USA has seen an increase.
The supplemental poverty rate - a measure developed during President Barack Obama's administration as a better measure of poverty - was 13.9 percent, slightly less than in 2015.
Still, the Census data is closely watched because of its comprehensive nature.
The percentage of people without health insurance was 8.8%, a decline of 0.3%.
As a result, 40.6 million people now live below the poverty line, 2.5 million fewer than the year before, in the second consecutive decrease in poverty.
The number of those without health care coverage is also down. Tom Hirschl, sociologist and co-author of "Chasing the American Dream: Understanding What Shapes Our Fortunes", says that while the numbers today reflect an incremental improvement, middle-class and working-class Americans still feel insecure about their economic future. Basically, the good news from last year's income report, which was the first really positive sign in almost a decade, may be turning into a trend. For example, in 2016, a family of four with two adults and two children with a household income of $24,339 or less, two adults with $16,543 or less, or someone aged 65 or older with $11,511 or less would all be considered to be living in poverty. Women now make 80.5 cents to every $1 earned by men, or an increase of 1.1 percent from 2015.