Income Data for Policy Analysis: A Comparative Assessment of Eight Surveys. The Poor and Near Poor


Another useful summary statistic, but one that is informative about only the lower end of the income distribution, is the poverty rate—that is, the percentage of persons whose family incomes lie below the official poverty threshold. Estimates of the number of poor and near poor (whom we define as those between 100 and 200 percent of the poverty threshold) are important measures for policy analysis.27 Marked differences across surveys in estimates of the poor and near poor would be a source of concern among policy analysts and other data users.

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