Find the Poverty Line for Different Sized Families
Below is a snapshot of the 2013 Poverty line by family size provided by the United States Census Bureau as well as the way in which the poverty line is measured.
How the Census Bureau Measures Poverty
Following the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14, the Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not ...view middle of the document...
Updated annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).
Although the thresholds in some sense reflect families needs,
• They are intended for use as a statistical yardstick, not as a complete description of what people and families need to live.
• Many government aid programs use a different poverty measure, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) poverty guidelines, or multiples thereof.
Poverty thresholds were originally derived in 1963-1964, using:
• U.S. Department of Agriculture food budgets designed for families under economic stress.
• Data about what portion of their income families spent on food.
If total family income is less than the threshold appropriate for that family,
• The family is in poverty.
• All family members have the same poverty status.
• For individuals who do not live with family members, their own income is compared with the appropriate threshold.
If total family income equals or is greater than the threshold, the family (or unrelated individual) is not in poverty.
People Whose Poverty Status Cannot Be Determined
Unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children):