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The living standards of households are traditionally measured by income. However, income is not the only measure available. Extended measures of well-being help deepen our knowledge about household conditions in ways not captured by money alone.
Census money income is defined as income received on a regular basis before payments for taxes, social security, etc. and does not reflect noncash benefits.
Income inequality is the extent to which income is distributed unevenly among a population.
If a family's total income is less than the official poverty threshold for a family of that size and composition, then they are considered to be in poverty.
Program Income and Public Assistance
Public assistance refers to assistance programs that provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals and families from any governmental entity.
Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates (SAIPE)
The Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program provides more current estimates for the administration and allocation of federal programs and funds.
Supplemental Poverty Measure
In 2009, the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) created a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) to replace previous experimental poverty measures.
Wealth and Asset Ownership
Household net worth or wealth is an important defining factor of economic well-being - it can become an additional source of income in hard times or retirement.