Defining poverty: In money terms, for a family of (Census):
- One: $9,645 a year,
- Two: $12,334 a year (amount varies with how many children are part of household),
- Three: $15,067 a year,
- About $4000 for each additional person.
Notes: These numbers are what the Census Bureau uses to define poverty. The Department of Health and Human Services use similar - but simplified - numbers which are used by service agencies. The numbers only include cash income, not non-cash support like food stamps. It also doesn't include cash back from the Earned Income Tax Credit. (NYT & Census)
Percent of Americans who are in poverty:
- 2005: 12.6 % of total population (Census)
- 2004: 12.7% of total population (Census);
- 2003: 12.5% of total population (Census);
over the years
How long people stay in poverty (Census):
Of people who leave the welfare roles within four years:
- 2-4 months: 51.1% of people in poverty are out of poverty within 4 months,
- 5 months - year: 28.5%,
- 1 - 4 years: 20.4%.
- 2% stay in poverty more than 4 years.
Definitions: the US doesn't track "hunger" - but instead defines households with:
- "low food security" as "Reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake." and
- "very low food security" as "Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake." (USDA)
The number of Americans who have:
- low or very low food security: 11%
- very low food security: 4% (USDA)
Where the facts are from:
- ACF - Administration for Children and Families - government site
- CBO - Congressional Budget Office - government site
- Census - U.S. Census Bureau - government site
- CRS - Congressional Research Service for House Ways and Means
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