In 2011, the Census Bureau issued a paper that laid groundwork for developing a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) for the United States.
This paper illustrate differences between the official measure of poverty and a poverty measure that takes account of in-kind benefits received by families and nondiscretionary expenses that they must pay.
Prior to the publication of the Research Supplemental Poverty Measure in 2011, the Census Bureau conducted a variety of studies looking at how income distribution changes when the definition of income is varied to include or exclude different components.
Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases a number of public reports on the level of poverty in the previous year and trends in the level and composition of the poor from year to year. This issue of Fast Focus seeks to make sense of these various measures at the federal, state, and local levels.