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Poverty data offer an important way to evaluate the nation’s economic well-being. Because poor people in the United States are too diverse to be characterized along any one dimension, this report illustrates how poverty rates vary by selected characteristics—age, race and Hispanic origin, nativity, family composition, work experience, and geography. These data reveal how many people were poor and how the poverty population has changed. A description of the official measure of poverty may be found on page 5.

Whether one is in poverty or not provides but one perspective on economic well-being. This report discusses as well the extent of poverty (page 9) and more comprehensive experimental measures of poverty that account for noncash benefits (such as food stamps) and taxes (such as the Earned Income Credit) in income (page 13).

The estimates in this report are based on interviewing a sample of the population. Respondents provide answers to the best of their ability, but as with all surveys, the estimates may differ from the actual values. (Authors)
Government Document
U.S. Census Bureau
P60-219
2002
Washington, D.C.
U.S Census Bureau
866-512-1800
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