Report on People Living Near Poverty 1966-2012
U.S. Census Bureau

This report by the U.S. Census Bureau describes individuals and families living near poverty–those individuals whose family incomes are close, but not below, official poverty thresholds. This includes demographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, family type, religion, educational attainment, employment and health insurance coverage.

Some highlighted findings:

  • In 2012, 14.7 million people in the United States had family incomes between 100 and 125 percent of their poverty threshold. The near-poverty rate for individuals decreased from 6.3 percent in 1966 to 4.7 percent in 2012.
  • Individuals with less than a high school degree had a near-poverty rate of 10.0 percent in 2012, while individuals with a college degree or more had a near-poverty rate of 1.6 percent during the same year.
  • Approximately 32.5 percent of individuals living near poverty in 2012 received SNAP benefits, while 84.6 percent of individuals in near poverty lived with a family member receiving a free or reduced lunch in school.

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