Following decades of research on poverty measurement and guidance from a National Academies of Sciences Panel and the Interagency Technical Working Group on Developing a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), in 2011 the Census Bureau released the first annual SPM report. Since this first publication, no major changes have been made to the SPM, but research has been ongoing at the BLS and Census Bureau on potential improvements and validation of prior assumptions. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has established a new interagency technical working group, which set 2021 as a target for making methodological improvements to the measure. Further future improvements to the SPM are being considered by a National Academies of Sciences panel.
Below are changes to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) methodology that were voted on during the September 2020 SPM interagency technical working group.
Capping Nutritional Assistance in the Supplemental Poverty Measure
This paper develops a methodology and investigates the potential impact of capping nutritional assistance benefits in the estimation of the SPM.
Impact of Using State Average WIC Values in the SPM
Using data from the 2018 CPS ASEC, this paper analyzes the impact of using state-varying WIC values instead of national WIC values to estimate SPM rates.
Potential Improvements to the SPM for 2021: Resources
This presentation gives an overview of potential changes to SPM resources under consideration for 2021.
Supplemental Poverty Measure: Alternative Geographic Adjustments
This presentation gives an overview of potential changes to geographic adjustments in the SPM under consideration for 2021.
Incorporating Amenities into Geographic Adjustments of the SPM
Thresholds for the Supplemental Poverty Measure reflect differences in the cost of housing. This paper suggests an approach that takes into account amenities.
Geographic Adjustments with BEA RPPs vs. ACS Median Rents: An Update
This paper compares the results of two different adjustments to the Supplemental Poverty Measure thresholds.