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Computations for the 2005 Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Persons in family unit
Poverty thresholds for 2003 - published Aug. 2004a/
Column 2 multiplied by 1.027 price inflatorb/
Difference between successive Column 3 entries
Average difference in Column 4c/
February 2005 poverty guidelines
1 $9,393 $9,647     $9,570
      $2,692 $3,260  
2 12,015 12,339     12,830
      2,737 3,260  
3 14,680 15,076     16,090
      4,242 3,260  
4 18,810 19,318     19,350d/
      3,528 3,260  
5 22,245 22,846     22,610
      2,954 3,260  
6 25,122 25,800     25,870
      3,515 3,260  
7 28,544 29,315     29,130
      3,127 3,260  
8 31,589 32,442     32,390

a/  Column 2 entries are weighted average poverty thresholds from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Series P60-226, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2003, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, August 2004, p. 39.

b/  Price inflation calculated from Table 1A of U.S. Department of Labor, Consumer Price Index press release (USDL-05-99), January 19, 2005.  (The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all items was 184.0 for calendar year 2003 and 188.9 for calendar year 2004, an increase of 2.7 percent.)

c/  The arithmetic average of Column 4 entries, rounded to the nearest multiple of $20.

d/  Obtained by multiplying the average poverty threshold for a family unit of four persons for 2003 ($18,810, from Column 2) by the price increase factor from 2003 to 2004 (1.027) and rounding the result upward to the nearest whole multiple of $50.  All other entries in Column 6 are obtained by successive addition or subtraction of the average difference ($3,260) to the size–4 2005 guideline entry ($19,350).

For Alaska and Hawaii, where the cost of living is traditionally believed to be significantly higher than in other states, scaling factors of 1.25 and 1.15, respectively, are applied to the 2005 guideline for a family of four for the 48 contiguous states, and the results (if not already a multiple of $10) are rounded upward to the nearest whole multiple of $10.  (These scaling factors were based on Office of Economic Opportunity administrative practice for these two states only beginning in the 1966-1970 period.)  These scaling factors are applied to the average difference for the 48 contiguous states (Column 5) to obtain average differences for Alaska and Hawaii for deriving guidelines for other family sizes; these average differences for Alaska and Hawaii are rounded to the nearest multiple of $10.  For families with more than 8 persons, add the following amount for each additional person: $3,260 (48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia); $4,080 (Alaska); $3,750 (Hawaii).