Poverty data offer an important way to evaluate the nation's economic well-being. Because poor people in the United States are too diverse to be characterized along any one dimension, this report illustrates how poverty rates vary by selected characteristics—age, race and Hispanic origin,1 nativity, family composition, work experience, and geography. These data reveal how many people were poor and how the poverty population has changed. A description of how the Census Bureau measures poverty may be found on page 5.
The estimates in this report are based on the March 2001 Current Population Survey, conducted by the Census Bureau. Respondents provide answers to the best of their ability, but as with all surveys, the estimates may differ from the actual values. For further information about the source and accuracy of the estimates, go to www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty00/pov00src.pdf.
Confidence intervals for poverty rate estimates are provided in Table A. The uncertainty in the estimates should be taken into consideration when using them.
1 Hispanics may be of any race. About 14.2 percent of Whites, 3.0 percent of Blacks, 1.9 percent of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 11.0 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives were of Hispanic origin.
2 In both 1999 and 2000, the poverty rates for Blacks and Hispanics were not statistically different from each other.