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Donald Trump assailed the health of the United States economy in his acceptance speech Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
"What about our economy?" he asked, rattling off a series of statistics. "Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when President Obama took his oath of office less than eight years ago. Another 14 million people have left the workforce entirely. Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000. That’s 16 years ago."
Here, we’ll focus on the final part of that statement -- that household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000.
On the numbers, Trump is right. Once you adjust for inflation, median household income fell from $57,724 in 2000 to $53,657 in 2014, the last full year for which data is available. That’s a decline of $4,067 -- in line with what Trump said.
This chart shows the trend since 2000.
However, it’s worth noting one bit of context.
While this statistic came amid a series of shots at President Barack Obama, the majority of the period Trump was referring to came under the presidency of George W. Bush, a Republican.
During the first eight years of the span Trump referred to -- 2000 to 2008 -- Bush was president. And during Bush’s tenure, inflation-adjusted median household income declined by $2,411, which is more than half the total amount it fell between 2000 and 2014.
Since Obama took office, it has fallen by $1,656. That’s not a great legacy, but it’s worth remembering that slicing the numbers this way puts all of the Great Recession on Obama’s watch while also denying Obama 2015, when there was a slow but steady recovery, because data is not available.
Trump said, "Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000."
He’s right on the number. However, for a statistic embedded in a series of attacks on Obama, it exaggerates the income trend under the current president. A majority of the decline in real household income since 2000 actually occurred under a Republican president.
The statement is accurate but needs additional information, so we rate it Mostly True.
Donald Trump, acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 21, 2016
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, "Real Median Household Income in the United States," accessed July 21, 2016
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