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.
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.
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.
These Census Bureau report analyzes demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of census tracts by categorizing the tracts based on their poverty levels. Tracts with poverty rates of 20% or more are considered “poverty areas”. Recent reports draw data from the America Community Survey and older data come the the Census long form.