The data presented here are from the Current Population Survey (CPS), 2013 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC), the source of official poverty estimates. The CPS ASEC is a sample survey of approximately 100,000 household nationwide. These data reflect conditions in calendar year 2012.
In 2012, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent. There were 46.5 million people in poverty.
For the second consecutive year, neither the official poverty rate nor the number of people in poverty at the national level were statistically different from the previous year’s estimates.
The 2012 poverty rate was 2.5 percentage points higher than in 2007, the year before the most recent recession.
In 2012, the poverty rate for people living in the West was statistically lower than the 2011 estimate.
For most groups, the number of people in poverty did not show a statistically significant change. However, between 2011 and 2012, the number of people in poverty did increase for people aged 65 and older, people living in the South, and people living outside metropolitan statistical areas.
The poverty rate in 2012 for children under age 18 was 21.8 percent. The poverty rate for people aged 18 to 64 was 13.7 percent, while the rate for people aged 65 and older was 9.1 percent. None of these poverty rates were statistically different from their 2011 estimates.1
1 Since unrelated individuals under 15 are excluded from the poverty universe, there are 468,000 fewer children in the poverty universe than in the total civilian noninstitutionalized population.