Learn More: Poverty

The Poverty dataset includes the following two variables: Population below 100% Poverty Threshold and Population below 200% Poverty Threshold. Below is a chart showing each of these variables across twelve selected neighborhoods.
Browse this Learn More page to see this dataset's metadata and why each of its variables are important to measure.

Trends in the Data

Metadata

Variable Definitions:
Population below 100% Poverty Threshold: The percentage of households earning below 100% of the federal poverty threshold
Population below 200% of Poverty Threshold: The percentage of individuals who earn below 200% of the federal poverty threshold

Source:
American Community Survey, 5-year estimates, Table C17002
Years Available:
2006-10, 2007-11, 2008-12, 2009-13, 2010-14, 2011-15
Geographic Unit:
Census Tract

Why are these Variables Important to Measure?

Population below 100% Poverty Threshold
The federal poverty threshold is a guideline established by the U.S. Census Bureau for measuring the number of people in poverty. It calculates an "income cutoff" or threshold for poverty based on the number of adults and children in a household. Any household having an income below 100 percent of the threshold is considered to be in poverty. In 2016, the poverty threshold for an individual under the age of 65 with no children was $12,486.
A separate "poverty guideline" is established each year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for administrative and federal program eligibility purposes. The HHS poverty measure provides guidelines based on the number of individuals in a household, regardless of their age. These guidelines apply to the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia (the states of Alaska and Hawaii have higher guidelines due to elevated cost of living). While the two measures of poverty are very similar, the Census Bureau's poverty threshold is the measure used for this variable.
In addition to being a crucial diagnostic tool for the economic well-being of a community, measuring poverty is important because it determines eligibility for various public assistance programs and services.
Population below 200% of Poverty Threshold
The federal poverty threshold is a guideline established by the U.S. Census Bureau for measuring the number of people in poverty. It calculates an "income cutoff" or threshold for poverty based on the number of adults and children in a household. Any household having an income below 100 percent of the threshold is considered to be in poverty. Often, however, some other percentage of the threshold is used to determine poverty in relation to a specific area. Because the cost of living in Los Angeles County is high compared to many other areas of the country, it could be appropriate to use a higher percentage of the threshold to determine poverty. In 2016, 200 percent of the poverty threshold for an individual under the age of 65 with no children was $24,972.
A separate "poverty guideline" is established each year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for administrative and federal program eligibility purposes. The HHS poverty measure provides guidelines based on the number of individuals in a household, regardless of their age. These guidelines apply to the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia (the states of Alaska and Hawaii have higher guidelines due to elevated cost of living). While the two measures of poverty are very similar, the Census Bureau's poverty threshold is the measure used for this variable.
In addition to being a crucial diagnostic tool for the economic well-being of a community, measuring poverty is important because it determines eligibility for various public assistance programs and services.

Citations:
"American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey 2015 Subject Definitions." United States Census Bureau: American Community Survey, 2015. Link 
Burwell, Sylvia M. "Department of Health and Human Services: Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines." Federal Register, vol. 80, no. 14, 2015, pp. 3236. Link
"Poverty Thresholds." United States Census Bureau, 19 January 2018. Link
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