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National Poverty in America Awareness Month: January 2023

Press Release Number CB23-SFS.003

From the U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC):


Official Poverty Measure

  • The official poverty rate in 2021 was 11.6 percent, with 37.9 million people in poverty. Neither the rate nor the number in poverty was significantly different from 2020 (Figure 1 and Table A-1).
  • Official poverty rates decreased for people under the age of 18 and increased for people 65 years and older, but were not statistically different for 18- to 64-year-olds (Figure 2 and Table A-1).
  • The majority of the demographic groups discussed in this report did not experience significant changes in their poverty rates between 2020 and 2021 (Figure 2 and Tables A-1 and A-2).
Photo: Poverty - People picking up food at a food bank

Supplemental Poverty Measure

  • The SPM rate in 2021 was 7.8 percent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points from 2020. This is the lowest SPM poverty rate since estimates were first published and the third consecutive decline (Figure 4 and Table B-2).
  • The SPM child poverty rate fell 46 percent in 2021, from 9.7 percent in 2020 to 5.2 percent in 2021, a 4.5 percentage-point decline.

Key Stats

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC).

Figures, Official Poverty Measure:

Note: Figure 1 shown above is cropped. Click on the image for the full figure, including notes and source.

More Stats

From Census.gov / Topics / Income and Poverty

Source: 2021 American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates.

From the Newsroom:

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Page Last Revised - December 20, 2022
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