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Executive Summary

The 1974 Amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act included a mandate to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to study ways of improving the accuracy and currency of the present measure of poverty used in the formula that allocates funds authorized by Title I of the Act. This is a summary of the report of that study. 

Poor persons living in the United States in the 1970s are rich in contrast to their counterparts in other times and places. They are not poor if by poor is meant the subsistence levels of living common in some other countries. Nor are most poor like their counterparts in this country fifty or one hundred years ago. This country is concerned about poverty, its causes and correlates. It is willing to relieve the poverty of some of the poor and it wants to measure the effectiveness of its efforts to do so. None of this can be done without some idea of who is to be considered poor and who is not.

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Technical Papers

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A Literature Review of the Definition and Measurement of Poverty

Volume I:

Volume II:

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Part A: Non-Census Data Bases
Part B: Census Data Bases

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Update of the Orshansky Index

(Never Completed)

Related Information

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