RIVERSIDE -

The median household income of residents in the Riverside metropolitan area dropped between 2011 and 2012, and the percentage of people living in poverty rose over the same time frame, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to the 2012 American Community Survey, median household income in the area was $51,695 in 2012, down from $53,201 in 2011. The numbers were below the national median household income of $53,607 last year, and $53,545 in
2011.

The percentage of Riverside-area residents living in poverty climbed from 18 percent in 2011 to 19 percent last year. The national poverty rate was 15.5 percent in 2012.

The survey provides a snapshot of the financial health of residents in particular areas of the country, along with statistics on education levels and immigration. Census officials said the report is aimed at giving communities data to help them plan public investment and government services.

According to the report, 20.5 percent of area residents lacked health insurance in 2012, up slightly from 20.4 percent the prior year.

Among the other 2012 statistics in the report for the Riverside area:
   -- 36.9 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds were enrolled in school, up from 35.8 percent in 2011 and above the national rate of 48.7 percent;
   -- 78.6 percent of residents 25 or older had completed high school, down slightly from 78.9 percent the prior year but below the U.S. rate of 86.7 percent;
   -- 19.5 percent of residents 25 or older had a bachelor's degree or higher, below the national rate of 31.2 percent;
   -- 21.7 percent of residents were foreign-born, well above the U.S. metro-area rate of 14.8 percent;
   -- the median value of an owner-occupied home was $214,100, down from $217,800 in 2011. The U.S. median value was $188,300;
   -- the median cost of rent plus utility costs was $1,094, above the national median of $925.