Report: Poverty and Income in America Statistics 2000-2012

A Summary of 2012 Current Population Survey Data

 By:
ASPE Human Services Policy Staff

Abstract
This brief summarizes information on income and poverty in 2011, based on data released by the Census Bureau. Cited statistics include median household income in 2011, the number and rate of all persons in poverty, children in poverty, all persons and children under 50% of the poverty threshold, and African-American and Hispanic children in poverty from 2000 to 2011. The data are based on information collected in the 2012 and earlier Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the Census Bureau.

 

  • The Census Bureau today released data indicating that the overall poverty rate in 2011 was 15.0 percent – statistically unchanged from 15.1 percent in 2010. This represents 46.2 million people living in poverty in 2011.
  • Median household income was $50,054 in 2011, which is a statistically significant decrease of 1.5 percent from 2010.
  • Today’s data indicate that there were 16.1 million children (persons under 18) living in poverty in 2011, not significantly changed from 2010. The child poverty rate was 21.9 percent, not significantly changed from the 2010 rate of 22.0 percent.
  • For African-American children, the poverty rate reported today was 37.4 percent for 2011. The rate for Hispanic children was 34.1 percent. For non-Hispanic, White children the rate was 12.5 percent.
  • Children living in female-headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate of 47.6 percent, over four times the rate of children in married-couple families (10.9 percent).
  • The poverty rate for people age 65 and over was 8.7 percent, statistically unchanged from 2010.
  • In 2011, 6.6 percent of all people, or 20.4 million people, lived in deep poverty (had income below one-half the poverty threshold, or $11,511 for a family of four).
  • The overall poverty rate of 15.0 percent in 2011 did not change significantly from 2010. In contrast, the poverty rate had risen significantly in seven of the prior 10 years from a recent low of 11.3 percent in 2000.
  • These figures reflect money income only and do not reflect in-kind public supports, tax credits, most ARRA-funded expansions and temporary reductions in the payroll tax. Data incorporating these and other noncash benefits and how they affect measures of poverty will not be available until November.

 

The following charts summarize key points about the poverty data released today.

 

List of Charts

 

  1. Poverty Rate of All Persons: 2000 to 2011
  2. Poverty Rate of Children under 18: 2000 to 2011
  3. All Persons and Children below 50% of Poverty Threshold: 2000 to 2011
  4. Poverty Rate of All Persons by Age: 2000 to 2011
  5. Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity: 2000 to 2011
  6. Child Poverty by Family Structure: 2000 to 2011
  7. Poverty Rate of All Persons by Race and Ethnicity: 1979 to 2011

Poverty Rate of All Persons
2000-2011
Poverty Rate of All Persons 2000-2011

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OVERALL POVERTY

 

  • For calendar year 2011, the official overall poverty rate was 15.0 percent.
  • This is not statistically different from 15.1 percent in 2010.
  • In 2011, the total number of people in poverty was 46.2 million, statistically unchanged from 2010.
  • The poverty rate in 2011 was 3.7 percentage points higher than in 2000.

Poverty Rate of Children under 18
2000-2011
Poverty Rate of Children under 18 2000-2011

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CHILD POVERTY — ALL CHILDREN

 

  • For calendar year 2011 the percentage of children (persons under 18) in poverty was 21.9 percent.
  • This rate is not statistically different from 22.0 percent in 2010.
  • The total number of children in poverty in 2011 was 16.1 million, not statistically different from 2010.
  • The child poverty rate in 2011 was 5.7 percentage points higher than in 2000.

All Persons and Children below 50% of Poverty
2000-2011
All Persons and Children below 50% of Poverty 2000-2011

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DEEP POVERTY

 

  • In 2011, 6.6 percent of all people, or 20.4 million people, had incomes below one-half of the poverty threshold. In 2011, 50 percent of the poverty threshold for a family of four was $11,511.
  • This 20.4 million people represents 44.0 percent of the poverty population in 2011.
  • In 2011, 7.3 million children under 18 or 9.8 percent of all children were living in deep poverty.

Poverty Rate of All Persons by Age
2000-2011
Poverty Rate of All Persons by Age<br />2000-2011

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POVERTY BY AGE

 

Poverty among Persons under 18, 18 to 64, and 65 and Older

 

  • In 2011, the poverty rate among adults 65 and older was 8.7 percent, statistically unchanged from 2010.
  • The poverty rate among adults between the ages of 18 and 64 was 13.7 percent in 2011, statistically unchanged from 2010.
  • In 2011, children under the age of 18 had a poverty rate of 21.9 percent, statistically unchanged from 22.0 percent in 2010.
  • The gap in the poverty rate between adults 65 and older and adults ages 18 to 64 has grown since 2001. In 2011, the poverty rate among adults ages 18 to 64 was 5.0 percentage points higher than for adults 65 and older, while these groups had the same poverty rate of 10.1 percent in 2001.
  • In 2011, poverty rates for the under 18 and 18 to 64 age groups have increased 5.7 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively, since 2000. The poverty rate for those 65 and older has fallen somewhat since 2000.

Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity
2000-2011
Note:  Hispanic includes children of all races.  White, Non-Hispanic does not include any Hispanic children.  Black or African-American includes Hispanic children and starting in 2002 includes Black or African-American children reporting multiple race categories.
Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity 2000-2011

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CHILD POVERTY

 

Children in African-American, Hispanic, and Non-Hispanic White Families

 

  • For African-American children, the poverty rate in 2011 was 37.4 percent. The poverty rate for African-American children in 2011 was 7.2 percentage points higher than the recent low in 2001.
  • For Hispanic children, the poverty rate in 2011 was 34.1 percent. The poverty rate for Hispanic children in 2011 was 7.2 percentage points higher than the recent low in 2006.
  • For non-Hispanic White children, the poverty rate was 12.5 percent in 2011. The poverty rate for non-Hispanic White children in 2011 was 3.4 percentage points higher than the recent low in 2000.

Child Poverty by Family Structure
2000-2011
Child Poverty by Family Structure 2000-2011

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CHILD POVERTY

 

Children in Married-Couple Families and Female-Headed Families

 

  • In 2011, the poverty rate for children in married-couple families was 10.9 percent, up from a recent low of 8.1 percent in 2006.
  • The poverty rate among children in female-headed families with no spouse present was 47.6 percent in 2011, up from a recent low of 42.0 percent in 2006.
  • Children living in female-headed families with no spouse present had a poverty rate over four times that of children in married-couple families in 2011 (47.6 percent compared to 10.9 percent).

Poverty Rates of All Persons by Race and Ethnicity
1979-2011
Note: Hispanic includes persons of all races. White, not Hispanic does not include any Hispanic persons. Black or African-American includes Hispanic persons and starting in 2002 includes Black or African-American persons reporting multiple race categories
Poverty Rates of All Persons by Race and Ethnicity 1979-2011

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HISTORICAL POVERTY RATES FOR ALL PERSONS

 

  • The percentage of all persons living in poverty in 2011, 15.0 percent, was comparable to the past peak rates of 15.2 percent in 1983 and 15.1 percent in 1993.
  • In calendar year 2011, the poverty rate for all African-American persons was 27.5 percent. This is statistically unchanged from 27.4 percent in 2010, and it is below the recent peak poverty rate of 33.4 percent in 1992.
  • In calendar year 2011, the poverty rate for all Hispanic persons was 25.3 percent. This is a significant decrease from 26.5 percent in 2010 and below the peak poverty rate of 30.7 percent in 1994.

This issue brief is available on the Internet at:
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/povertyAndIncomeEst/ib.shtml

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