Government agencies, researchers and local organizations regularly use poverty estimates to measure economic well-being and identify the number of individuals and families eligible for various assistance programs.
Poverty status is determined by comparing annual income to a set of dollar values (called poverty thresholds) that vary by family size, number of children and age of the householder.
The poverty threshold differs for individuals and families of different sizes.
A family and each individual member of that family are considered in poverty if the family’s before-tax money income is less than the dollar value of its threshold. Poverty status of people not living in families is determined by comparing an individual’s income to their poverty threshold.
The poverty measure excludes children under the age of 15 who are not related to the householder and people living in institutional group quarters, college dormitories or military barracks. Population totals in this article include only those whose poverty status can be determined.