How does gender relate to poverty status?
Official data breakdown

In 2014, the overall poverty rate in the United States was 15%.  Poverty rates by gender ranged from 13% to 16%.

Poverty rates by gender were:

  • 13% for males 
  • 16% for females

Another way to think about the relationship between poverty and gender is to look at how the gender distribution of people in poverty compares to that of the population as a whole.

By that measure, in 2014 females comprise a greater share of the population in poverty than their share of the general population; while males are underrepresented.

DeNavas-Walt, Carmen and Bernadette D. Proctor, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014. U.S. Census Bureau. Current Population Reports P60-252, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2015.  (PDF) Accessed 10/14/2015

Official Poverty Statistics
from the Current Population Survey


The official poverty statistics, which have been in use since the 1960s, calculate poverty status by comparing a family’s or an individual’s cash income to their poverty threshold.