Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Fourteenth Report to Congress. Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

09/22/2015

Figure ECON 2.  Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level: 1975 - 2013

Figure ECON 2.  Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level: 1975 - 2013

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013,” Current Population Reports, Series P60- 249, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.]


  • Figure ECON 2 shows the percentage of the population below 50, 100, and 125 percent of the poverty level over time.  The percentage of the population in “deep poverty” (with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) was 6.3 percent in 2013, compared to an overall poverty rate of 14.5 percent.
  • Less than five (4.7) percent of the population was “near-poor;” they had incomes at or above 100 percent but below 125 percent of the federal poverty level in 2013.
  • Table ECON 2 shows the number and percentage of the population below 50, 75, and 125 percent of the poverty level for selected years.  In general, the percentage of the population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty level has followed a pattern that reflects the trend in the overall poverty rate.
  • The percentage of people below 50 percent of the poverty level rose in the late 1970s and early 1980s to 5.9 percent, and then after falling, has risen past its 1993 peak of 6.2 percent. The rates for 100 percent and 125 percent of the poverty level followed a similar pattern with more pronounced peaks and valleys.
  • Over the past three decades, the proportion of the poverty population in “deep poverty” has increased substantially.  The percentage of the poverty population in deep poverty went from a low of 29.9 percent in 1975 to 43.8 percent in 2013.  

Percent of Poor in Deep Poverty

Percent of Poor in Deep Poverty

 

Table ECON 2. Number and Percentage of Total Population below 50, 75, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level: Selected Years

 

 

Year

 

Total Population (thousands)

Below 50 Percent

Below 75 Percent

    Below 100 Percent

   Below 125 Percent

  Number

(thousands)

    Percent

  Number

(thousands)

Percent

  Number

(thousands)

Percent

  Number

(thousands)

Percent

1961

181,300

NA

NA

NA

NA

39,600

21.9

54,300

30.0

1963

187,300

NA

NA

NA

NA

36,400

19.5

50,800

27.1

1965

191,400

NA

NA

NA

NA

33,200

17.3

46,200

24.1

1967

195,700

NA

NA

NA

NA

27,800

14.2

39,200

20.0

1969

199,500

NA

NA

14,600

7.3

24,100

12.1

34,700

17.4

1971

204,600

NA

NA

NA

NA

25,600

12.5

36,500

17.8

1973

207,600

NA

NA

NA

NA

23,000

11.1

32,800

15.8

1975

210,900

7,700

3.7

15,400

7.3

25,900

12.3

37,200

17.6

1976

212,300

7,000

3.3

14,900

7.0

25,000

11.8

35,500

16.7

1977

213,900

7,500

3.5

15,000

7.0

24,700

11.6

35,700

16.7

1978

215,700

7,700

3.6

14,900

6.9

24,500

11.4

34,200

15.8

1979

222,900

8,600

3.8

16,300

7.3

26,100

11.7

36,600

16.4

1980

225,000

9,800

4.4

18,700

8.3

29,300

13.0

40,700

18.1

1981

227,200

11,200

4.9

20,700

9.1

31,800

14.0

43,700

19.3

1982

229,400

12,800

5.6

23,200

10.1

34,400

15.0

46,500

20.3

1983

231,700

13,600

5.9

23,600

10.2

35,300

15.2

47,200

20.3

1984

233,800

12,800

5.5

22,700

9.7

33,700

14.4

45,300

19.4

1985

236,600

12,400

5.2

22,200

9.4

33,100

13.6

44,200

18.7

1986

238,600

12,700

5.3

22,400

9.4

32,400

14.0

43,500

18.7

1987

241,000

12,500

5.2

21,700

9.0

32,200

13.4

43,000

17.9

1988

243,500

12,700

5.2

21,400

8.8

31,700

13.0

42,600

17.5

1989

246,000

12,000

4.9

20,700

8.4

31,500

12.8

42,700

17.3

1990

248,600

12,900

5.2

22,600

9.1

33,600

13.5

44,800

18.0

1991

251,200

14,100

5.6

24,400

9.7

35,700

14.2

47,500

18.9

1992

256,500

15,500

6.1

26,200

10.2

38,000

14.8

50,600

19.7

1993

259,300

16,000

6.2

27,200

10.5

39,300

15.1

51,800

20.0

1994

261,600

15,400

5.9

26,400

10.1

38,100

14.5

50,400

19.3

1995

263,700

13,900

5.3

24,500

9.3

36,400

13.8

48,800

18.5

1996

266,200

14,400

5.4

24,800

9.3

36,500

13.7

49,300

18.5

1997

268,500

14,600

5.4

24,200

9.0

35,600

13.3

47,900

17.8

1998

271,100

13,900

5.1

23,000

8.5

34,500

12.7

46,000

17.0

1999

276,200

12,900

4.7

21,800

7.9

32,800

11.9

45,000

16.3

2000

278,900

12,600

4.5

20,900

7.5

31,600

11.3

43,600

15.6

2001

281,500

13,400

4.8

22,000

7.8

32,900

11.7

45,300

16.1

2002

285,300

14,100

4.9

23,100

8.1

34,600

12.1

47,100

16.5

2003

287,700

15,300

5.3

24,500

8.5

35,900

12.5

48,700

16.9

2004

290,600

15,700

5.4

25,000

8.6

37,000

12.7

49,700

17.1

2005

293,100

15,900

5.4

25,200

8.6

37,000

12.6

49,300

16.8

2006

296,500

15,400

5.2

25,200

8.5

36,500

12.3

49,700

16.8

2007

298,700

15,600

5.2

25,100

8.4

37,300

12.5

50,900

17.0

2008

301,000

17,100

5.7

27,400

9.1

39,800

13.2

53,800

17.9

2009

303,800

19,000

6.3

30,100

9.9

43,600

14.3

56,800

18.7

2010

306,100

20,500

6.7

32,100

10.5

46,300

15.1

60,700

19.8

2011

308,500

20,400

6.6

31,800

10.3

46,200

15.0

60,900

19.8

2012

310,600

20,400

6.6

32,300

10.4

46,500

15.0

61,200

19.7

2013

313,000

19,900

6.3

31,300

10.0

45,300

14.5

60,200

19.2

Note: In previous editions of this report, the number of persons below 50 percent and 75 percent of poverty for 1969 were calculated based on data from the 1970 decennial census.  In this report the estimate of the number of persons below 75 percent of poverty for 1969 comes from Current Population Survey data published in Current Population Reports, Series P60-76.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-249, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

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