Poverty Status of Families

Summary: Poverty status of families by race, ethnicity, marital status, and children present

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This database contains the estimated number of families in poverty in March of the following year by race, ethnicity, marital status, and children present.  Poverty is based on 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 vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps).  


Because the Census Bureau changed demographic reporting categories in 2003, data are not available for all possible search combinations. For example, the category "Black with children under 18 years" was replaced by two multi-race categories, e.g., "Black alone or in combination with children under 18 years" and "Black alone with children under 18 years."  In this example, data are available for "Black with children under 18 years" from 1967-2001, but not after year 2001.  Data for the multi-race categories, "Black alone or in combination with children under 18 years" and "Black alone with children under 18 years" are available only since 2002.  Hispanic origin may be of any race. Data for Hispanic origin are not available prior to 1972.  Prior to 1979 unrelated subfamilies were included in all families. Beginning in 1979 unrelated subfamilies are excluded from all families.



Geographic Coverage: U.S.

Periodicity: Annually

Series Begins/Ends: 1959 - 2018

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census

Updated:  Oct. 21, 2019 Estimated next update: Aug. 25, 2020

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