U.S. Department of Commerce

Poverty

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Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Poverty, 1993 to 1994 - Highlights

  • About 40 (± 1.5) million people were poor in 1994, reflecting an average monthly poverty rate of 15.4 (± 0.5) percent. Although the average monthly poverty rate for 1993 was statistically similar at 15.7 (± 0.5) percent, the overlap of specific individuals is limited. Only one-third of those who were poor in an average month of 1994 were poor for all of 1993 and 1994 (5.3 ± 0.4 percent).
  • The proportion of people who were poor at some point in time during 1994 (21.4 ± 0.6 percent) was four times greater than the proportion who were poor every month of both 1993 and 1994 (5.3 ± 0.4 percent).
  • Hispanics2 had the highest entry rate into poverty (7.4 ± 1.7 percent) and the highest episodic poverty rate for the 36 months of the 1993 SIPP panel (53.9 ± 2.6 percent) of any racial or ethnic group; Blacks had the lowest exit rate (17.7 ± 2.7 percent), and the longest median poverty spell (6.8 months).
  • The picture of poverty for the three age groups we examine here is complex. Children had the highest average monthly poverty rate (24.5 ± 1.1 percent), episodic poverty rate (32.4 ±1.4 percent), chronic poverty rate (9.4 ± 0.9 percent), and entry rate (4.4 ± 0.7 percent) of any age group. Retirement-age adults had the lowest average monthly poverty rate (10.2 ± 1.1 percent), episodic poverty rate (13.5 ± 1.4 percent), and entry rate (2.0 ± 0.7 percent) of any age group. But children's median poverty spell (5.3 months) and exit rate (20.1 ± 2.7 percent) were statistically similar to those of adults 65 and over (6.7 months and 14.9 ± 5.2 percent).
  • No matter which poverty measure is used, people in families with a female householder are more likely to be poor than those in married-couple families or unrelated individuals.
  • People in central cities typically were at higher risk of poverty than their suburban or nonmetropolitan counterparts. However, the central city exit rate (19.9 ± 2.8 percent) was similar to the rate for nonmetropolitan residents (26.3 ± 3.9 percent).

Footnotes

  1. The figures in parentheses signify the 90-percent confidence intervals of the estimates.
  2. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division: Poverty |  Last Revised: September 16, 2010