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Household Income and People Below Poverty Level, 1997

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates - 1997 http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/saipe/estimatetoc.html


Household income is the sum of money income received in the previous calendar year by all household members 15 years old and over, including household members not related to the householder, people living alone, and others in nonfamily households. The median household income reported here was produced through statistical modeling.

Families and persons are classified as below poverty level if their total family income or unrelated individual income was less than the poverty threshold specified for the applicable family size, age of householder, and number of related children under 18 present (see table below for poverty level thresholds). The state and county estimates here were produced through statistical modeling.

Poverty status is determined for all families (and, by implication, all family members). For persons not in families, poverty status is determined by their income in relation to the appropriate poverty threshold. Thus, two unrelated individuals living together may not have the same poverty status. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. See source for more details or see Poverty Definition, Thresholds, and Guidelines at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

See http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/threshld/thresh97.html for Poverty Thresholds in 1997, by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years.

Scope and Methodology:

The estimates of poverty presented here originate from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program at the Census Bureau. The main objective of this program is to provide updated income and poverty statistics that are needed in the administration of federal programs and in the allocation of federal funds to local jurisdictions.

The program currently makes estimates for the following key statistics: median household income, number of people below the poverty level, number of children under age 5 below the poverty level (for states only), number of related children ages 5 to 17 years in families below the poverty level, and number of people under age 18 years below the poverty level.

The estimates are not direct counts from enumerations or administrative records, or direct estimates from sample surveys. Currently available data from these sources are not adequate to provide postcensal estimates for all counties. Instead, the estimates are based on modeled relations between current income and poverty levels and income tax and program data available for counties and states for years following the decennial census.

The estimates are produced by combining results from the Census Bureau's March Current Population Survey with aggregate data from federal individual income tax records, food stamps program participants statistics, population estimates, and 1990 census figures. Tabulations for 1993 mark the first time the Census Bureau has issued county-level income and poverty estimates in noncensus years.

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