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Income Definitions

  • Poverty Status - Alternative and Household Income - Alternative are currently available for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Note that 2009 data show poverty status and income based on the 2008 reference period; 2007 data show poverty status and income based on the 2007 reference period.
  • For Poverty Status - Alternative, the income definition is applied to the family income.
  • For Household Income - Alternative, the income definition is applied to the household income.
  • The income format for Household Income - Alternative is the format selected in section 6, Customized Formatting.
  • You may select the official income (Money Income), any of five alternatives, or you may customize your own definition from the 42 possible components of income.
  • The 42 income components are (the number corresponds to the number shown in the table footnote when you customize your own income definition):
    1. Earnings (wages, salaries, and self-employment income)
    2. Interest income
    3. Dividend income
    4. Rents, royalties, estate, and trust income
    5. Non-government retirement pensions and annuities
    6. Non-government survivor pensions and annuities
    7. Non-government disability pensions and annuities
    8. Realized capital gains (losses)
    9. Social Security
    10. Unemployment compensation
    11. Workers' compensation
    12. Veterans' payments other than pensions
    13. Government retirement pensions and annuities
    14. Government survivor pensions and annuities
    15. Government disability pensions and annuities
    16. Public assistance (includes TANF and other cash welfare)
    17. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    18. Veterans' pensions
    19. Federal earned income credit
    20. Federal income taxes after refundable credits except EIC (deducted from income)
    21. State income taxes after all refundable credits (deducted from income)
    22. Payroll taxes (FICA and other mandatory deductions) (deducted from income)
    23. Property taxes on owner-occupied housing (deducted from income)
    24. Government educational assistance
    25. Non-government educational assistance
    26. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - formerly known as Food Stamps
    27. Free and reduced-price school lunches
    28. Low-income energy assistance
    29. Public housing and rent subsidies
      1. Public housing and rent subsidies - AHS-based estimates (used in the R&D Servies)
      2. Public housing and rent subsidies - FMR-based estimates (used for the NAS Series)
    30. Fungible value of Medicaid
    31. Child Support
    32. Alimony
    33. Regular contributions from persons not living in the household
    34. Money income not elsewhere classified
    35. Imputed return to home equity on owner-occupied housing
    36. Regular-price school lunches
    37. Employer contribution to health care plans
    38. Fungible value of medicare
    39. Medical expenses out-of-pocket (deducted from income)
    40. Work-related expenses
      1. Work-related expenses excluding child care (deducted from income)
      2. Work-related expenses including child care (deducted from income)
    41. Economic stimulus payments (2009 ASEC only)
    42. Economic recovery payments (2010 ASEC only)
The pre-defined income definitions are:
  • Money Income (the official definition of income) Consists of the following 23 income components:
    • 1. Earnings (wages, salaries, and self-employment income)
    • 2. Interest income
    • 3. Dividend income
    • 4. Rents, royalties, estate, and trust income
    • 5. Non-government retirement pensions and annuities
    • 6. Non-government survivor pensions and annuities
    • 7. Non-government disability pensions and annuities
    • 9. Social Security
    • 10. Unemployment compensation
    • 11. Workers' compensation
    • 12. Veterans' payments other than pensions
    • 13. Government retirement pensions and annuities
    • 14. Government survivor pensions and annuities
    • 15. Government disability pensions and annuities
    • 16. Public assistance (includes TANF and other cash welfare)
    • 17. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • 18. Veterans' pensions
    • 24. Government educational assistance
    • 25. Non-government educational assistance
    • 31. Child Support
    • 32. Alimony
    • 33. Regular contributions from persons not living in the household
    • 34. Money income not elsewhere classified
  • Market Income Consists of the following 15 income components:
    • 1. Earnings (wages, salaries, and self-employment income)
    • 2. Interest income
    • 3. Dividend income
    • 4. Rents, royalties, estate, and trust income
    • 5. Non-government retirement pensions and annuities
    • 6. Non-government survivor pensions and annuities
    • 7. Non-government disability pensions and annuities
    • 8. Realized capital gains (losses)
    • 25. Non-government educational assistance
    • 31. Child Support
    • 32. Alimony
    • 33. Regular contributions from persons not living in the household
    • 34. Money income not elsewhere classified
    • 35. Imputed return to home equity on owner-occupied housing
    • 40(a). Work-related expenses excluding child care (deducted from income)
  • Post-Social Insurance Income Consists of 23 income components, all the Market Income components AND the following:
    • 9. Social Security
    • 10. Unemployment compensation
    • 11. Workers' compensation
    • 12. Veterans' payments other than pensions
    • 13. Government retirement pensions and annuities
    • 14. Government survivor pensions and annuities
    • 15. Government disability pensions and annuities
    • 24. Government educational assistance
  • Disposable Income Consists of 34 income components, all the Post-Social Insurance Income components AND the following:
    • 16. Public assistance (includes TANF and other cash welfare)
    • 17. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • 18. Veterans' pensions
    • 19. Federal earned income credit
    • 20. Federal income taxes after refundable credits except EIC (deducted from income)
    • 21. State income taxes after all refundable credits (deducted from income)
    • 22. Payroll taxes (FICA and other mandatory deductions) (deducted from income)
    • 23. Property taxes on owner-occupied housing (deducted from income)
    • 26. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • 27. Free and reduced-price school lunches
    • 29(a). Public housing and rental subsidies - AHS-based estimate
    • 36. Regular-price school lunches
    • 41. Economic stimulus payments (2009 ASEC only)
    • 42. Economic recovery payments (2010 ASEC only)
  • NAS Income Consists of Money Income (see the 23 components listed above) PLUS
    • 8. Realized capital gains (losses)
    • 19. Federal earned income credit
    • 26. Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • 27. Free and reduced-price school lunches
    • 28. Low-income energy assistance
    • 29(b). Public housing and rental subsidies - FMR-based estimate
    • 36. Regular-price school lunches
    • 41. Economic stimulus payments (2009 ASEC only)
    • 42. Economic recovery payments (2010 ASEC only)
      MINUS
    • 20. Federal income taxes after refundable credits except EIC (deducted from income)
    • 21. State income taxes after all refundable credits (deducted from income)
    • 22. Payroll taxes (FICA and other mandatory deductions) (deducted from income)
    • 40(b). Work-related expenses including child care
    • NAS Income minus Medical Out-of-Pocket Expenditures Consists of all the components in NAS Income MINUS
      • 39. Medical Expenses out of pocket

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Current Population Survey (CPS) |  Last Revised: