Computations for the 2013 Poverty Guidelines


Computations for the 2013 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 2011 — published Sep. 2012A
Column 2 multiplied by 1.021 price inflatorB
Difference between successive Column 3 entries
Average difference in Column 4C
January 2013 poverty guidelines
1$11,484$11,725  $11,490
214,65714,965  15,510
317,91618,292  19,530
423,02123,504  23,550D
527,25127,823  27,570
630,84731,495  31,590
735,08535,822  35,610
839,06439,884  39,630


A  Column 2 entries are weighted average poverty thresholds from U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, Series P60-243 [PDF], Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2011, Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, September 2012, p. 49.

B  (The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for all items was 224.939 for calendar year 2011 and 229.594 for calendar year 2012, an increase of 2.1 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 2011 ($23,021, from Column 2) by the price increase factor from 2011 to 2012 (1.021) and rounding the result upward to the nearest whole multiple of $50 ($23,550).  All other entries in Column 6 are obtained by successive addition or subtraction of the average difference ($4,020) to the size–4 2013 guideline entry ($23,550).

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 2013 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: $4,020 (48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia); $5,030 (Alaska); $4,620 (Hawaii).