How does the U.S. Census Bureau define ratio of income to poverty?
Some Census Bureau tables show counts of people or families, categorized by how their income compares with their poverty threshold. The ratio of income to poverty is a family's or person's income divided by their poverty threshold.
Income-to-poverty ratio categories represent variations of the poverty level. Frequently-used ratios include:
You can access the most recent ratio data on a national level from Current Population Survey. Table POV46 provides poverty status by state (weighted and sample person count) by age and for families by specific age group. Historical poverty tables include data for these two groups.
Our most current data on income to poverty ratios comes from the American Community Survey 1-year estimates for all geographic areas of 65,000 or more population, and for all geographic areas of 20,000 or more population from the 2006 to 2008 3-year estimates. These data tables will be updated annually for all geographic areas in the U.S. after the 2010 census.