This brief analyzes and summarizes the poverty rates for various populations in the United States. Cited statistics include changes in the poverty rate and number of children in poverty by age, race and ethnicity, and family type. The data are based on information collected in the 2014 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau today released data indicating that the overall poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent – a decrease from 15.0 percent in 2012. This change was the first decrease since 2006. This represents 45.3 million people living in poverty in 2013. Persons are considered poor if they have family incomes below the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold for a family of four was $23,834 in 2013.1
Median household income was $51,939 in 2013, which is not statistically different from the 2012 median. For each year between 2007 and 2011 median household income decreased. From 2011 to 2013, median household income remained unchanged.
The total number of children in poverty in 2013 was 14.7 million, a decrease from 16.1 million in 2012. The child poverty rate was 19.9 percent, a decrease from the 2012 rate of 21.8 percent. The change in the child poverty rate represented the first decrease from the previous year since 2000.
For African-American children, the poverty rate reported today was 36.9 percent for 2013. The rate for Hispanic children was 30.4 percent. For non-Hispanic, White children the rate was 10.7 percent.
Related children living in female-headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 45.8 percent, over four times the rate of children in married-couple families (9.5 percent).
The poverty rate for people age 65 and over was 9.5 percent, which is statistically unchanged from 2012. There were 4.2 million people age 65 and over living in poverty in 2013, which is a statistically significant increase from 3.9 million in 2012.
In 2013, 6.3 percent of all people, or 19.9 million people, lived in deep poverty (had income below one-half the poverty threshold, or $11,917 for a family of four).
These figures reflect money income only and do not reflect in-kind public supports or tax credits. More detailed data incorporating these and other noncash benefits and how they affect measures of poverty will be available in late October.
1 The Census Bureau measures poverty by comparing total family money income (before taxes and tax credits and excluding non-cash benefits) to dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition.