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The 2020 Census, Next Steps and a Heartfelt Thanks. Read More.

Parents, caregivers and teachers: Explore this page for at-home or distance learning activities.

Poverty in America

Component ID: #ti1042020776

Activity Description

Students will explore census data, including infographics and reports, to better understand rates of poverty in the nation.

Component ID: #ti654588761

Suggested Grade Level


Component ID: #ti654588762

Approximate Time Required

60-90 minutes

Component ID: #ti654588763

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the difference between the “official” poverty measure developed in the 1960s and the “supplemental” poverty measure developed in the 2000s.
  • Students will be able to use U.S. Census Bureau resources to identify changes in rates of poverty and analyze other poverty data.

Component ID: #ti654588764

Materials Required

  • The student version of this activity, 18 pages (which the teacher will likely choose to print in color)
  • A computer with Internet access for each student

Component ID: #ti654588765

Activity Items

The following items are part of this activity. The items, their sources, and instructions for viewing them online appear at the end of this teacher version.

  • Measuring America — How Census Measures Poverty
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measure, 2014
  • Income and Poverty in the United States, 2014

This activity also uses the following online tool:

Teacher Notes

Blooms Taxonomy

Blooms Taxonomy

Students will analyze poverty and its impact on the U.S. population.


High School Sociology


  • Poverty

Skills Taught

  • Comparing and contrasting data
  • Making inferences
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