Profile Picture DSHS-McKeon, Stacii

created Jan 10 2014

updated Apr 19 2018

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Goal 4: Healthy and Safe Communities
federal poverty level, poverty, supported people, stability, self sufficiency
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Data Source
United States Census Bureau American Community Survey; provided by the Research and Data Analysis Division, DSHS
Data Definition
Adults (18 and over) and children ((0-17) with income above 100% of the Federal Poverty Level as a percentage of all adult residents for whom poverty status is determined. Calculated for Washington State and U.S. 1 Poverty status is determined for all people except institutionalized people, people in military group quarters, and people in college dormitories. The Census Bureau uses dollar thresholds that vary by family size and number of children to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the appropriate threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered to be in poverty. The same logic applies to people living alone. The poverty thresholds are revised annually to allow for changes in the cost of living as reflected in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). The thresholds are the same for all parts of the U.S.; they are not adjusted for regional, state, or local variations in the cost of living. 2 Poverty status in ACS is based on income reported for the past 12 months rather than a single calendar year. As a result, the data cover a period of 23 months; for example, 2008 ACS data cover the period from January 2007 through November 2008 (respondents answering the survey in January 2008 reported their income for January through December of 2007, while respondents answering it in December 2008 reported their income for December 2007 through November 2008). 3 Limitation of the data – Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. The part of the group quarters population in the poverty universe (for example, people living in group homes or those living in agriculture workers’ dormitories) is many times more likely to be in poverty than people living in households. Direct comparisons of the data would likely result in erroneous conclusions about changes in the poverty status of all people in the poverty universe. 4 Comparability – Because of differences in survey methodology (questionnaire design, method of data collection, sample size, etc.), the poverty rate estimates obtained from American Community Survey data may differ from those reported in the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, and those reported in Census 2000. 5 The 2000 Census and the 2001-2009 ACS data were extracted from 1850-2009 IPUMS-USA samples, a database prepared by Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2010. The 2010 and 2011 ACS data were extracted from 2010 and 2011 ACS Public Use Microdata Sample data via DataFerrett version 1.4.7.
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