As of 2014, 46.7 million people – or 14.8 percent of the population – were considered to be in poverty in the United States. Out of these, 15.5 million were children under the age of 18.
While the poverty rate in 2014 was 2.3 percent higher than 2007, the total number of people in poverty has remained stable over the preceding four years. According to the 2014 U.S. Census, poverty is most prevalent within black and Hispanic communities, as the poverty rates within these demographics are 26 and 24 percent respectively. In comparison, only 10 percent of whites and 12 percent of Asians fell at or below the poverty line.
While 10 percent of senior citizens fell below the poverty line, poverty levels for people living with disabilities was 29 percent. Even though poverty is usually thought of as an urban problem, the poverty rate within metropolitan areas was 15 percent, while the poverty rate outside of these areas was 17 percent.
Poverty levels are measured by the U.S. Census Bureau by comparing the size and income of household against average cost of living figures. While these cost of living features do not vary geographically, they are adjusted for inflation according to the consumer price index.