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Computations for the 2010 Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia

Persons in family or household
Poverty thresholds for 2008 — published Sep. 2009a/
Column 2 multiplied by 1.00042 price inflatorb/
Difference between successive Column 3 entries
Average difference in Column 4c/
August 2010 poverty guidelines
1 $10,991 $10,996     $10,830
      $3,061 $3,740  
2 14,051 14,057     14,570
      3,113 3,740  
3 17,163 17,170     18,310
      4,864 3,740  
4 22,025 22,034     22,050d/
      4,026 3,740  
5 26,049 26,060     25,790
      3,408 3,740  
6 29,456 29,468     29,530
      4,075 3,740  
7 33,529 33,543     33,270
      3,693 3,740  
8 37,220 37,236     37,010

a/  Column 2 entries are weighted average poverty thresholds from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Series P60-236, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2008, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, September 2009, p. 43.

b/  Price inflation calculated from “Table Containing History of CPI-U U.S. All Items Indices ... From 1913 to Present.”  (The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all items was 215.303 for calendar year 2008 and 215.394 for the January 2009-May 2010 period, an increase of 0.042 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 of four persons for 2008 ($22,025, from Column 2) by the price increase factor from 2008 to the Jan. 2009-May 2010 period (1.00042) 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 ($3,740) to the size–4 2010 guideline entry ($22,050).

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 2010 guideline for a family or household 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 or household sizes; these average differences for Alaska and Hawaii are rounded to the nearest multiple of $10.  For families or households with more than 8 persons, add the following amount for each additional person: $3,740 (48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia); $4,680 (Alaska); $4,300 (Hawaii).