Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2002. Economic Security Risk Factor 1. Poverty Rates

03/01/2002

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2000

Figure ECON 1.  Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2000

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2000,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-214 and data published online athttp://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

  • The percentage of persons living in poverty fell to 11 percent in 2000, the lowest level since 1973.
  • While the poverty rate for children has declined along with the overall rate in the past several years, children, particularly young children, continue to have higher poverty rates than the overall population. For example, in 2000, the poverty rate for related children ages 0 to 5 was about 17 percent, compared to about 11 percent for the overall population.
  • The poverty rate for blacks declined by 6 percentage points between 1996 and 2000, from 28 percent to 22 percent, as shown in Table ECON 1. The gap between black and white poverty rates was at an historic low of 13 percentage points in 2000; the gap has narrowed by a third since the early 1990s, when it exceeded 21 percentage points. The poverty rate among Hispanics reached 21 percent in 2000, the lowest level recorded.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) reached historic lows of less than 10 percent in 1999 and just over 10 percent in 2000. This was a lower poverty rate than the rate for children under 18 (16 percent) and slightly above adults ages 18-64 (9.4 percent).

Table ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: Selected Years

Calendar Year Related Children All Persons
Ages 0-5 Ages 6-17 Total Under 18 18 to 64 65 & over White Black Hispanic Origin
1959 N/A N/A 22.4 27.3 17.0 35.2 18.1 55.1 N/A
1963 N/A N/A 19.5 23.1 N/A N/A 15.3 N/A N/A
1966 N/A N/A 14.7 17.6 10.5 28.5 11.3 41.8 N/A
1969 15.3 13.1 12.1 14.0 8.7 25.3 9.5 32.2 N/A
1973 15.7 13.6 11.1 14.4 8.3 16.3 8.4 31.4 21.9
1976 17.7 15.1 11.8 16.0 9.0 15.0 9.1 31.1 24.7
1979 17.9 15.1 11.7 16.4 8.9 15.2 9.0 31.0 21.8
1980 20.3 16.8 13.0 18.3 10.1 15.7 10.2 32.5 25.7
1981 22.0 18.4 14.0 20.0 11.1 15.3 11.1 34.2 26.5
1982 23.3 20.4 15.0 21.9 12.0 14.6 12.0 35.6 29.9
1983 24.6 20.4 15.2 22.3 12.4 13.8 12.1 35.7 28.0
1984 23.4 19.7 14.4 21.5 11.7 12.4 11.5 33.8 28.4
1985 22.6 18.8 14.0 20.7 11.3 12.6 11.4 31.3 29.0
1986 21.6 18.8 13.6 20.5 10.8 12.4 11.0 31.1 27.3
1987 22.3 18.9 13.4 20.3 10.6 12.5 10.4 32.4 28.0
1988 21.8 17.5 13.0 19.5 10.5 12.0 10.1 31.3 26.7
1989 21.9 17.4 12.8 19.6 10.2 11.4 10.0 30.7 26.2
1990 23.0 18.2 13.5 20.6 10.7 12.2 10.7 31.9 28.1
1991 24.0 19.5 14.2 21.8 11.4 12.4 11.3 32.7 28.7
1992 25.7 19.4 14.8 22.3 11.9 12.9 11.9 33.4 29.6
1993 25.6 20.0 15.1 22.7 12.4 12.2 12.2 33.1 30.6
1994 24.5 19.5 14.5 21.8 11.9 11.7 11.7 30.6 30.7
1995 23.7 18.3 13.8 20.8 11.4 10.5 11.2 29.3 30.3
1996 22.7 18.3 13.7 20.5 11.4 10.8 11.2 28.4 29.4
1997 21.6 18.0 13.3 19.9 10.9 10.5 11.0 26.5 27.1
1998 20.6 17.1 12.7 18.9 10.5 10.5 10.5 26.1 25.6
1999 18.0 15.5 11.8 16.9 10.0 9.7 9.8 23.6 22.8
2000 16.9 15.1 11.3 16.2 9.4 10.2 9.4 22.1 21.2

Notes: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race All persons under 18 include related children (own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption), unrelated individuals under 18 (persons who are not living with any relatives), and householders or spouses under age 18.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2000,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-214 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

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