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Poverty for States and Large Metropolitan Areas
Data from the American Community Survey

 

Using income and household relationship data from the American Community Surveys (ACS), the Census Bureau provides unofficial estimates of the number and percentage of people in poverty for sub-national levels of geography.

The Bureau produces ACS estimates for the nation, states, and large metropolitan statistical areas. 

Image of Poverty for States and Large Metropolitan Areas

Frequency and Timespan: Annual data and averages across mulit-year timespans for 2004-2012

Geographic Level of Coverage: Subnational estimates of income and poverty for all places, counties, and metropolitan areas with a population of at least 65,000 as well as the nation and the states

Publications and Tables available online

Source:
U.S. Census Bureau. Description of Income and Poverty Data Source. (PDF) Accessed 2/14/2012

FAQ

How is poverty measured in the United States?
Thresholds, guidelines and other estimates

Image of How is poverty measured in the United States?

 

There are two official measures of poverty: poverty guidelines and poverty thresholds.  Both of these measures are intended to identify the level of income necessary to meet basic needs and are updated annually.

FAQ

How does geography relate to poverty?
Official data for region and residence

Image of How does geography relate to poverty?

 

In 2012, the nation’s official poverty rate was 15%.  The poverty rates by geographic region were:

  • 14% in the Northeast
  • 13% in the Midwest
  • 16% in the South
  • 15% in the West
FAQ

What do we know about the geographic concentration of poverty?
Estimates from the American Community Survey

Image of What do we know about the geographic concentration of poverty?

 

In 2010, 15% of people lived in poverty.  Poverty is not evenly distributed across neighborhoods and every state has neighborhoods with higher than average poverty rates. 

Census tracts with poverty rates above 20% are considered “poverty areas.”

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