What Is the Poverty Level in the United States?


Quick Answer

The official poverty rate of the United States was 14.5 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This was 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous year's rate and the first decrease in the poverty rate since 2006.

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What Is the Poverty Level in the United States?
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Full Answer

There were 45.3 million people living in poverty in the Untied States in 2013. 19.9 percent of children under 18, 13.6 percent of people aged 18 to 64 and 9.5 percent of people aged 65 and older were found to be below the poverty threshold, reports the U.S. Census Bureau.

In the United States, poverty is measured by comparing a family's pre-tax income to its poverty threshold, the amount the Census Bureau determines is the minimum required to support a family of that size. Thresholds are calculated annually and do not take into account non-cash benefits, such as Medicaid, public housing, food stamps or employer-sponsored health insurance.

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