What Is the Poverty Line in the USA?

poverty-line-usa Credit: Aliyev Alexei Sergeevich/Blend Images/Getty Images

The official poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children in the United States is $22,283 per year, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2012. The dollar amount represents total household pretax income.

The U.S. Census Bureau calculates and reports two types of poverty measures: the Official Measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure. The official measure considers that households share all pretax income. Analysts calculate the measure by multiplying inflation-adjusted minimum food diet costs for 1963 by three. The supplemental poverty measure uses the current prices of shelter, clothing, utilities and food. Analysts also consider geographical differences in costs. For example, the supplemental poverty measure for two adults and two children living in Los Angeles is over $30,000, while the measure for the same family living in Sacramento, California, is between $22,283 and $24,999.