Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. Economic Security Risk Factor 1. Poverty Rates

12/20/2008

Figure ECON 1.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty by Age: 1959-2006

Figure ECON 1

Note:  Last data point is 2006.  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. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” Current Population Reports, SeriesP60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • Figure ECON 1 shows the percentage of persons in poverty by age from 1959 to 2006.  The official poverty rate was 12.3 percent in 2006.  The percentage of persons living in poverty in 2006 was lower than poverty rates during all of the 1980s and most of the 1990s.
  • Children under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.4 percent in 2006.  As in past years, the child poverty rate is higher than the overall poverty rate.
  • Table ECON 1 shows the percentage of persons in poverty by age and family type for selected years.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) was 9.4 percent and the poverty rate for other adults (persons ages 18 to 64) was 10.8 percent in 2006.
  • Related children from birth to age five have had the highest poverty rate among all age groups throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the 2000s.  In 2006, 20.0 percent of related children from birth to age 5 lived below the poverty line.
  • The poverty rates for persons in both married-couple families and female-headed families have decreased over time.  In 1959, 18.2 percent of persons in married-couple families and 49.4 percent of persons in female-headed families were poor.  By 2006, 5.7 percent of persons in married-couple families and 30.5 percent of persons in female-headed families were poor.

Table ECON 1.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty by Age and Family Type:  Selected Years

Calendar
Year
Related Children All Persons
Ages 0-5 Ages 6-17 Total Under 18 18 to 64 65 & over In married-couple
families
In female-headed
families
Note:  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.

In 1959-1987, persons in married-couple families include a small number of persons in male-headed families with no spouse present.  In 1988, the first year for which we have separate data for these families, poor persons in male-headed families with no spouse present comprised just over 8 percent of the combined total of all persons below the poverty level.

Spouses are not present in the female-headed family category.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

1959 NA NA 22.4 27.3 17.0 35.2 18.2 49.4
1963 NA NA 19.5 23.1 NA NA 14.9 47.7
1966 NA NA 14.7 17.6 10.5 28.5 10.3 39.8
1969 15.3 13.1 12.1 14.0 8.7 25.3 7.4 38.2
1973 15.7 13.6 11.1 14.4 8.3 16.3 6.0 37.5
1976 17.7 15.1 11.8 16.0 9.0 15.0 6.4 37.3
1979 17.9 15.1 11.7 16.4 8.9 15.2 6.3 34.9
1980 20.3 16.8 13.0 18.3 10.1 15.7 7.4 36.7
1981 22.0 18.4 14.0 20.0 11.1 15.3 8.1 38.7
1982 23.3 20.4 15.0 21.9 12.0 14.6 9.1 40.6
1983 24.6 20.4 15.2 22.3 12.4 13.8 9.3 40.2
1984 23.4 19.7 14.4 21.5 11.7 12.4 8.5 38.4
1985 22.6 18.8 14.0 20.7 11.3 12.6 8.2 37.6
1986 21.6 18.8 13.6 20.5 10.8 12.4 7.3 38.3
1987 22.3 18.3 13.4 20.3 10.6 12.5 7.2 38.1
1988 21.8 17.5 13.0 19.5 10.5 12.0 6.6 37.2
1989 21.9 17.4 12.8 19.6 10.2 11.4 6.7 35.9
1990 23.0 18.2 13.5 20.6 10.7 12.2 6.9 37.2
1991 24.0 19.5 14.2 21.8 11.4 12.4 7.2 39.7
1992 25.7 19.4 14.8 22.3 11.9 12.9 7.7 38.5
1993 25.6 20.0 15.1 22.7 12.4 12.2 8.0 38.7
1994 24.5 19.5 14.5 21.8 11.9 11.7 7.4 38.6
1995 23.7 18.3 13.8 20.8 11.4 10.5 6.8 36.5
1996 22.7 18.3 13.7 20.5 11.4 10.8 6.9 35.8
1997 21.6 18.0 13.3 19.9 10.9 10.5 6.4 35.1
1998 20.6 17.1 12.7 18.9 10.5 10.5 6.2 33.1
1999 18.4 15.7 11.9 17.1 10.1 9.7 5.9 30.5
2000 17.8 14.7 11.3 16.2 9.6 9.9 5.5 27.9
2001 18.2 14.6 11.7 16.3 10.1 10.1 5.7 28.6
2002 18.5 15.3 12.1 16.7 10.6 10.4 6.1 28.8
2003 19.8 15.9 12.5 17.6 10.8 10.2 6.2 30.0
2004 20.0 16.0 12.7 17.8 11.3 9.8 6.4 30.5
2005 20.0 15.7 12.6 17.6 11.1 10.1 5.9 31.1
2006 20.0 15.4 12.3 17.4 10.8 9.4 5.7 30.5

 

View full report

Preview
Download

"report.pdf" (pdf, 673.5Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®