# Poverty - Experimental Measures

## Cohabitation and the Measurement of Child Poverty Tables

```Table 1. Number and Percent of Persons in Poverty, by Demographic Group,
with Separate and Combined Income of Cohabiting Couples

Census Procedure,     Income of Cohabitors    Change:
Number        Separate Units        Combined                            Poverty Rate

of Persons     Number      Poverty   Number      Poverty     Number      Percentage
(millions)      Poor        Rate      Poor        Rate        Poor       Points     Percent

All persons          240.7          31.3       13.0       30.0       12.5         -1.3        -0.5       -4.2

All children          62.9          11.7       18.7       11.4       18.1         -0.4        -0.6       -3.0

Children in single-
parent families       15.4           7.2       46.6        6.8       44.3         -0.4        -2.3       -5.0

Children in cohabi-
ting parent families   2.0           0.9       44.4        0.5       26.9         -0.4       -17.5      -39.4

Note:  Cohabitors are those where the head of the household reported living with an unmarried partner.
Living arrangements are reported for April 1990; income, for calendar year 1989.

Table 2.  Transitions into and out of Poverty for Children in Cohabiting Unions

Children Living with     Mean Income-to-Needs
Cohabiting Parents        Ratio

Number
(millions)   Percent     Separate    Combined

(1) Poor as separate, poor as combined          0.519        25.5        0.39         0.55

(2) Poor as separate, not poor as combined      0.385        18.9        0.57         1.75

(3) Not poor as separate, poor as combined      0.029         1.4        1.08         0.91

(4) Not poor as separate, not poor as combine   1.104        54.2        2.46         3.17

All children in cohabiting unions       2.037       100.0        1.55         2.20

Net reduction in poor children          0.357

Note:  The net reduction in the number of poor children is the difference between rows (2)
and (3). The income-to-needs ratio is defined as family income divided by the poverty line.

Table 3.  Descriptive Statistics for Cohabiting Families with Children

Poor Separate, Poor Separate,   Not Poor SeparatNot Poor Separate,
Poor Combined  Not Poor CombinedPoor Combined   Not Poor Combined
(N=228,103)    (N=201,239)      (N=14,009)      (N=697,027)
(1)             (2)             (3)              (4)

Parent:

in previous year        38.9            31.3            13.8              6.4

Was unemployed or not in
labor force in survey   59.9            53.2            24.6             11.7

previous year           47.5            35.8            13.4              3.9

Mean earnings            \$2,279          \$3,465          \$8,915          \$21,818

Education
Less than H.S.          55.1            42.5            47.2             24.3
High school             29.5            32.9            29.2             36.2
More than H.S.          15.4            24.5            23.7             39.5

Percent ever-married       43.6            50.2            47.7             64.9

Percent female             60.3            75.5            29.9             45.8

Cohabitor:

Was unemployed or not in
labor force in survey   59.1            19.7            83.4             29.0

previous year           46.3             5.7            77.0             17.3

Mean earnings            \$2,294         \$15,615            \$268          \$13,380

Education
Less than H.S.          58.4            39.5            59.5             28.9
High school             28.7            36.0            26.9             38.7
More than H.S.          12.9            24.5            13.6             32.4

Table 4.  Number and Percent of Children Living with Single Parents and Cohabiting Parents
who Receive Welfare Income, Classified by their Poverty Status when Separate and Combined

***Final table shown below***
Children Living with                   Children Living with
Single Parents                         Cohabiting Parents

Number with                          Number with
Total   Wefare Income   Percent      Total   Wefare Income   Percent
(millions)      (millions)  (of row)  (millions)     (millions)  (of row)

(1) Poor as separate,
poor as combined        6,774,179       3,577,331      52.8     519,412        223,339      43.0

(2) Poor as separate,
not poor as combined      385,411         133,528      34.6     385,411        133,528      34.6

(3) Not poor as separate,
poor as combined           28,749           5,440      18.9      28,749          5,440      18.9

(4) Not poor as separate,
not poor as combined    8,162,733       1,146,337      14.0   1,103,696         87,758       8.0

Total           15,351,072       4,862,636      31.7   2,037,268        450,065      22.1

Note:  Welfare income includes any cash assistance from AFDC, Supplemental Security
Income or General Assistance.  The numbers in rows (2) and (3) are identical for
children living with single parents and cohabiting parents, because only children
with cohabiting parents can change poverty status when income is combined.

Table 4.  Number and Percent of Children Living with Single Parents and Cohabiting Parents
who Receive Welfare Income, Classified by their Poverty Status when Separate and Combined

Children Living with                   Children Living with
Single Parents                         Cohabiting Parents

Number with                           Number with
Total    Wefare Income    Percent      Total   Wefare Income    Percent
(millions)       (millions)   (of row)  (millions)     (millions)   (of row)

(1) Poor as separate,
poor as combined        6.77            3.58        52.8        0.52          0.22        43.0

(2) Poor as separate,
not poor as combined    0.39            0.13        34.6        0.39          0.13        34.6

(3) Not poor as separate,
poor as combined        0.03            0.01        18.9        0.03          0.01        18.9

(4) Not poor as separate,
not poor as combined    8.16            1.15        14.0        1.10          0.09         8.0

Total               15.4             4.9        31.7         2.0           0.5        22.1

Note:  Welfare income includes any cash assistance from AFDC, Supplemental Security
Income or General Assistance.  The numbers in rows (2) and (3) are identical for
children living with single parents and cohabiting parents, because only children
with cohabiting parents can change poverty status when income is combined.

Table 5.  Estimated Coefficients of Logistic Regression Models:  Likelihood that Poor Families
with Children Will Be Reclassified as Non-Poor When a Cohabitor's Income Is Counted

Model 1                      Model 2
B       SE      Exp(B)       B        SE      Exp(B)

Race/ethnic origin of parent
White, non-Hispanic       (excluded)                   (excluded)
Black, non-Hispanic         0.0634  0.1916    1.0654     0.2379    0.2134   1.2686
Puerto Rican                0.5459  0.3353    1.7262     0.6387a   0.3733   1.8940
Mexican                     0.0415  0.2179    1.0424     0.1029    0.2390   1.1084
Other Hispanic             -0.2031  0.2765    0.8162    -0.2643    0.3040   0.7677
Other non-Hispanic         -0.4320b 0.2106    0.6492    -0.5014b    0.2317   0.6057

Race/ethnic origin of cohabitor
White, non-Hispanic       (excluded)                   (excluded)
Black, non-Hispanic        -0.5490c  0.1876    0.5775    -0.5529c   0.2085   0.5753
Puerto Rican               -1.0176c  0.3586    0.3614    -0.9577b   0.3996   0.3838
Mexican                    -0.0587   0.2148    0.9429    -0.2432    0.2339   0.7841
Other Hispanic             -0.1421   0.2623    0.8675    -0.2464    0.2864   0.7816
Other non-Hispanic         -0.4408b  0.2131    0.6435    -0.4956b   0.2336   0.6092

Marital status of parent
Never-married             (excluded)                   (excluded)
Ever-married                0.2079b  0.0828    1.2311     0.1571a    0.0916   1.1701

Age of parent                 -0.0283   0.0214    0.9721    -0.0294    0.0240   0.9711
Age of parent (squared)        0.0002   0.0003    1.0002     0.0003    0.0003   1.0003

Age of cohabitor               0.0928c  0.0219    1.0973     0.0773c    0.0251   1.0804
Age of cohabitor (squared)    -0.0009   0.0003    0.9991    -0.0005    0.0003   0.9995

Education of parent
Less than H.S.            (excluded)                   (excluded)
High school                 0.1275   0.0810    1.1360     0.0758    0.0902   1.0787
More than H.S.              0.3325c  0.0982    1.3944     0.2621b    0.1093   1.2996

Education of cohabitor
Less than H.S.            (excluded)                   (excluded)
High school                 0.6874c  0.0801    1.9885     0.5645c    0.0890   1.7586
More than H.S.              0.9189c  0.1011    2.5066     0.6641c    0.1109   1.9428

Sex of parent
Male                      (excluded)                   (excluded)
Female                      0.7631c  0.0801    2.1450     0.5310c    0.0967   1.7007

SMSA
Non-metro area            (excluded)                   (excluded)
Metro area                  0.3360c  0.0773    1.3993     0.3856c    0.0854   1.4705

ap<.1  b p<.05c  p<.01>

Table 5 (continued).  Estimated Coefficients of Logistic Regression Models:  Likelihood that Poor Families
with Children Will Be Reclassified as Non-Poor When a Cohabitor's Income Is Counted

Model 1                      Model 2
B       SE      Exp(B)       B        SE      Exp(B)

Region
Northeast                 (excluded)                   (excluded)
Midwest                    -0.2399b  0.1095    0.7867    -0.2711b    0.1246   0.7626
South                      -0.2796c  0.1055    0.7561    -0.5786c    0.1199   0.5607
West                        0.0040  0.1148     1.0040    -0.0824     0.1291   0.9209

Number of children less than  -0.3041c  0.0317    0.7378    -0.2782c    0.0349   0.7572

None                                                   (excluded)
Some                                                    -0.2299b    0.0921   0.7946

Earnings of parent
Negative/none                                          (excluded)
Positive                                                 0.4791c    0.0855   1.6147

Earnings of cohabitor
Negative/none                                          (excluded)
Positive                                                 2.5808c    0.1190  13.2081

ap<.1  bp<.05  cp<.01

Note:  'Parent' refers to the partner with child(ren) when the cohabiting partners are treated
units.  'Cohabitor' refers to the partner whose income is combined when the couple is counted as a single
household unit.  Only families that are counted as poor by the Census are included in the regressions; each
family is counted once.

Table 6.  Predicted Probabilities that a Poor Single-Mother Family Will Be
Reclassified as Non-Poor when a Cohabitor's Income Is Counted

Model 1

A. Mother is Ever-Married

White mother with no HS degree and
white cohabitor with no HS degree             0.62

Black mother with no HS degree and
black cohabitor with no HS degree             0.50

Mexican mother with no HS degree and
Mexican cohabitor with no HS degree            0.61

White mother with a HS degree and
white cohabitor with a HS degree              0.79

B.  Mother is Never-Married

Black mother with no HS degree and
black cohabitor with no HS degree             0.45

Model 2

C.  White mother and cohabitor; both have
no HS degree; mother is on welfare

Cohabitor has no earnings                        0.13

Cohabitor has some earnings                      0.66

D.  White mother and cohabitor; both have
no HS degree; mother is not on welfare

Mother has no earnings; cohabitor
has some earnings                              0.71

Both mother and cohabitor have
some earnings                                  0.80

Note:  All predictions assume the child's mother is age 30, she has two children, she lives in a
metropolitan area in the Northeast region, and she cohabits with a man who is age 35.
The mother is assumed to have been previously married, except in Panel B.

Appendix Table.  Characteristics of Unweighted Sample of Cohabiting
Families with Children Who are Poor When Income is Counted Separately
(In percent)

(N=4,001)

Race/ethnic origin of parent
White, non-Hispanic            58.1
Black, non-Hispanic            24.2
Puerto Rican                    2.4
Mexican                         7.0
Other Hispanic                  3.2
Other non-Hispanic              5.0

Race/ethnic origin of cohabitor
White, non-Hispanic            57.0
Black, non-Hispanic            25.4
Puerto Rican                    2.1
Mexican                         7.2
Other Hispanic                  3.5
Other non-Hispanic              4.8

Marital status of parent
Never-married                  51.3
Ever-married                   48.7

Sex of parent
Male                           33.9
Female                         66.1

Age of parent (mean)              30.8

Age of cohabitor (mean)           30.9

Education of parent
Less than H.S.                 49.3
High school                    31.4
More than H.S.                 19.2

Education of cohabitor
Less than H.S.                 49.8
High school                    32.4
More than H.S.                 17.7

Appendix Table (continued).  Characteristics of Unweighted Sample of Cohabiting
Families with Children Who are Poor When Income is Counted Separately
(In percent)

(N=4,001)

Non-metro area                 32.8
Metro area                     67.2

Region
Northeast                      18.6
Midwest                        22.9
South                          33.6
West                           24.9

Total number of children (combined)
One                             36.2
Two                             32.6
Three                           18.7
Four or more                    12.5

None                           65.5
Some                           34.5

Earnings of parent
Negative/none                  41.5
Positive                       58.5

Earnings of cohabitor
Negative/none                  26.9
Positive                       73.1

Note:  'Parent' refers to the partner with child(ren) when the cohabiting partners
are treated as two separate households.  'Cohabitor' refers to the partner whose
income is combined when the couple is counted as a single household unit.```

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Poverty - Experimental Measures |  Last Revised: December 15, 2010