How is poverty status related to age?
Official data for age groups

In 2014, the nation’s official poverty rate was 15%.  The poverty rates by age groups ranged from 10% to 21%.

Poverty rates by age were:

  • 21% of people under age 18
  • 14% of people 18 to 64 years of age
  • 10% of people 65 years of age and over

The Census Bureau also provides information on how the poverty rate by age has changed over time (PDF).

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

By that measure, in 2014 children comprise a greater share of the population in poverty than their share of the general population; while other age groups 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.