The 2015 poverty levels vary by the number of people living in the home; for example, a family of four is living below the poverty level when household income falls below $24,250, according to Families USA. However, a single person making less than $11,770 is also living below the poverty level, as is a family of eight making home less than $40,890 per year.
Poverty thresholds are updated each year by the United States Census Bureau, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The poverty threshold is slightly more in Alaska and Hawaii than in the 48 contiguous states because the cost of living in these states is higher. For instance, a family of four living in Alaska making less than $30,320 is considered living below the poverty level.