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Poverty Statistics: CPS & SAIPE (Time Series: various years)

Component ID: #ti329435253

Sources of Poverty Data

  • The CPS ASEC provides the most timely and accurate national data on income and is the official source of national poverty estimates, hence it is the preferred source for national analysis.  The CPS ASEC provides a consistent historical time series beginning in 1959 at the national level and can also be used to look at state-level trends and differences going back to1980. However, the relatively large sampling errors of state-level estimates for smaller states somewhat limit their usefulness.
  • The American Community Survey (ACS) releases annual subnational estimates of income and poverty for all places, counties, and metropolitan areas with a population of at least 65,000 as well as the nation and the states. The sample size of this survey is over 3 million addresses per year, making the ACS exceptionally useful for subnational analyses. Three-year period estimates are available for areas and subpopulations as small as 20,000 and five-year period estimates are available for all geographies, including census tracts, block groups and small subgroups of the population. ACS estimates are updated every year. Because of its large sample size, estimates from the fully implemented ACS provide the best survey-based state level income and poverty estimates. The ACS was fully-implemented in 2006.
  • The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program produces single-year estimates of median household income and poverty for states and all counties, as well as population and poverty estimates for school districts. Since SAIPE estimates combine ACS data with administrative and other data, SAIPE estimates generally have lower variance than ACS estimates but are released later because they incorporate ACS data in the models. For counties and school districts, particularly those with populations below 65,000, the SAIPE program provides the most accurate subnational estimates of poverty. For counties, SAIPE generally provides the best single-year estimates of median household income.

Component ID: #ti1240298775

CPS ASEC Poverty Statistics (1959-2015)

The Current Population Survey (CPS), sponsored jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is the primary source of labor force statistics for the population of the United States. The Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement provides the usual monthly labor force data, but in addition, provides supplemental data on work experience, income, noncash benefits, and migration.  Following the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Statistical Policy Directive 14, the CPS ASEC is the data source used for the official poverty statistics each year.

The official poverty measure uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family's total income is less than the family's threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. The official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but they are updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). The official poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains or noncash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits).

Component ID: #ti1240298774

Time Series Current Population Survey

Component ID: #ti1240298773

Time Series Current Population Survey Categorical Variables

RACE
  1. All Races
  2. White Alone
  3. White
  4. White Alone, Not Hispanic
  5. White, Not Hispanic
  6. Black Alone or in Combination
  7. Black Alone
  8. Black
  9. Asian Alone or in Combination
  10. Asian Alone
  11. Asian and Pacific Islander
  12. Hispanic (of any race)

FOOTID

Component ID: #ti1240298772

Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (1989, 1993, 1995-2016)*

The U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides annual estimates of income and poverty statistics for all school districts, counties, and states. The main objective of this program is to provide estimates of income and poverty for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. In addition to these federal programs, state and local programs use the income and poverty estimates for distributing funds and managing programs.

The SAIPE program produces the following county and state estimates:

  • total number of people in poverty
  • number of children under age 5 in poverty (for states only)
  • number of related children ages 5 to 17 in families in poverty
  • number of children under age 18 in poverty
  • median household income

Read more about SAIPE here:   SAIPE

*State and County (1989, 1993, 1995-2016).

Component ID: #ti1240298778

Time Series Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates

api.census.gov/data/timeseries/poverty/saipe?get=NAME,SAEPOVALL_PT,SAEPOVALL_MOE,SAEPOVRTALL_MOE,SAEPOVRTALL_PT&for=us:*&time=2016

Component ID: #ti1240298771

Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) [School Districts: 1995, 1997, 1999-2016]

The U.S. Census Bureau's Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides annual estimates of income and poverty statistics for all school districts, counties, and states. The main objective of this program is to provide estimates of income and poverty for the administration of federal programs and the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions. In addition to these federal programs, state and local programs use the income and poverty estimates for distributing funds and managing programs.

In order to implement provisions under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended, we produce total population, number of children ages 5 to 17, and number of related children ages 5 to 17 in families in poverty estimates for school districts.

Read more about SAIPE here:   SAIPE

*School Districts (1995, 1997, 1999-2016).

Component ID: #ti1240298770

Time Series Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates

api.census.gov/data/timeseries/poverty/saipe/schdist?get=SD_NAME,SAEPOV5_17RV_PT&for=school+district+(elementary):01680&in=state:06&time=2016

Component ID: #ti1240298776

American Community Survey Data

Poverty statistics from the American Community Survey (1-year, 3-year and 5-year data) are also available.  Most ACS poverty variables begin with the prefix “17”.  For more information about ACS data see:

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