The data analyzed in this brief come from the 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey, which collects information on income during the 2010 calendar year. The data were downloaded from the University of Minnesota Population Center’s Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) CPS database. The IPUMS CPS files contain a series of SPM variables connected to individual CPS person records, including an identifier for the SPM family unit and an associated SPM poverty threshold and SPM poverty status. For details on the construction and valuation of these variables see Short (2011) and King et al. (2010).
Three mutually exclusive groups were created using SPM poverty status and OPM poverty status, the core-poor (N = 7,666), the lifted-out (N = 4,286) and the thrown-in (N = 1,828). When SPM-level variables were not present on the file (e.g., SPM-unit level wage and salary income), person-level variables were aggregated up to the SPM unit using the SPM unit identifier present on the file. Similar variables are available through IPUMS on OPM resources, thresholds, and various resources measures. There are slight differences between the (official) poverty universe used here in these analyses with IPUMS data and that used by the Census Bureau, in particular with regard to unrelated children under 15. In the Census Bureau's official statistics, these children are excluded from the poverty universe, while in IPUMS data, these children are in the poverty universe.". But this affects only a small number of sample cases.
For the incidence of public benefits, an individual was categorized as having the benefit if their SPM-unit level value of the benefit was greater than zero, indicating that someone in the SPM-unit received a dollar value on that benefit. Counts of these incidences were then generated based on the number of incidences of benefit receipt.
Many of the variables used here are recorded at the individual level. For instance, health status is available for every member of the family with values ranging from “Excellent” to “Poor.” Thus, for such variables, measures were constructed for whether anyone in the SPM unit has the presence of a given indicator, in this case a member of the unit who is in poor health. All analyses are weighted to population levels using individual-level Annual Social and Economic Supplement person weights. Tables A-1 through A-4 below provide detailed numbers on resources (A-1), safety net benefits (A-2), expenditures (A-3), and other characteristics (A-4) of the three groups analyzed for this brief.