Government agencies and others maintain a wealth of statistics
and data related to poverty. These links are a good place
to start for essential information on poverty measures at the
national, state, and local level, along with other fundamental
measures relating to poverty in the United States.
The BLS produces an annual report on persons who,
during the year, spent 27 weeks or more in the labor force
(working or looking for work), but whose incomes still fell below
the official poverty level.
This report analyzes demographic and socioeconomic
census tracts by categorizing the tracts based on their poverty
levels. Tracts with poverty rates of 20% or more are
considered “poverty areas”.
There are two official measures of poverty issued annually by the
federal government: Poverty thresholds
from the Census Bureau and poverty
guidelines issued by the Department of Health and
Human Services. Both of these measures are intended to
identify the level of income necessary to meet basic needs.