Data on Poverty in the United States

The Center for American Progress’ new poverty data project contains U.S. Census Bureau data on the national, state, and congressional district levels, all in one place. Below, users can explore data on poverty and more than a dozen other topics that measure the health of the economy, as well as identify potential solutions to the problems these data reveal.

  • Official poverty rate 1

    11.6%

    37.9 million people

    Percentage of people who fell below the poverty line—$27,479 for a family of four—in 2021

  • Double the poverty level 2

    27.6%

    90.6 million people

    Percentage of people who fell below twice the poverty line—$54,958 for a family of four—in 2021

  • Half the poverty level 3

    5.5%

    18.2 million people

    Percentage of people who fell below half the poverty line—$13,740 for a family of four—in 2021

  • Child poverty rate 4

    15.3%

    11.1 million people

    Percentage of children under age 18 who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • Women's poverty rate 5

    12.6%

    20.9 million people

    Percentage of women who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • African American poverty rate 6

    19.5%

    8.6 million people

    Percentage of African Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • Hispanic poverty rate 7

    17.1%

    10.7 million people

    Percentage of Hispanics who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • White poverty rate 8

    8.1%

    15.8 million people

    Percentage of non-Hispanic whites who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • Native American poverty rate 9

    24.3%

    1 million people

    Percentage of Native Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • People with disabilities poverty rate 10

    24.9%

    4 million people

    Percentage of people with disabilities ages 18-64 who fell below the poverty line in 2021

  • Income inequality 11

    17

    The share of income going to the top 20 percent of households versus that going to the bottom 20 percent of households in 2021

  • High school graduation rate 12

    85.8%

    Percentage of public high school students who graduated on time in the 2018-19 school year

  • Disconnected youth 13

    12%

    Percentage of youth ages 18 to 24 with no degree beyond high school who were not in school or working in 2019

  • Higher education attainment rate 14

    47.9%

    Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 who had an associate degree or higher in 2021

  • Gender wage gap 15

    82¢

    Median earnings of full-time, year-round working women compared to that of men in 2021

  • Unemployment rate 16

    5.3%

    Percentage of all workers who were unemployed in 2021

  • Unemployment insurance coverage 17

    36.5%

    Percentage of unemployed workers who received unemployment insurance in 2021

  • Children living apart from parents 18

    5 kids

    Number of children who lived in foster care for every 1,000 children under age 18 in 2020

  • Teen birth rate 19

    15 births

    Births that took place for every 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 2020

  • Hunger and food insecurity 20

    10.2%

    Percentage of households that were food insecure on average from 2019 to 2021, meaning that at some point during the year, they experienced difficulty providing enough food for their families due to a lack of money or resources.

  • Affordable and available housing 21

    36 units

    Affordable and available housing: Number of apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with extremely low incomes—those with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median income—from 2016 to 2020

  • Savings and assets 22

    4.8%

    Percentage of households who used high-cost, high-risk forms of credit to make ends meet during 2019, including payday loans, automobile title loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own, and pawning

  • Lack of health insurance coverage 23

    17.3%

    Percentage of people under age 65 and below 138 percent of the poverty line who did not have health insurance at any time in 2021.


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Poverty in the United States: Compare the States

Use U.S. Census Bureau poverty data to compare states across more than a dozen topics that measure the health of the economy.

Compare States

Poverty in the United States: Explore the Data

Use U.S. Census Bureau poverty data to explore more than a dozen topics that measure the health of the economy at the state and congressional district levels.

Poverty in the United States: Explore the Map

Use U.S. Census Bureau poverty data to explore more than a dozen topics that measure the health of the economy at the state and national levels.

See The Data

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Endnotes

  1. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  2. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  3. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  4. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  5. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  6. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  7. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  8. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  9. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  10. John Creamer and others, “Poverty in the United States: 2021” (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-277.pdf.
  11. United States Census Bureau, Shares of Aggregate Household Income by Quintile: 2021 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022) available at https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=B19082&lastDisplayedRow=6&table=B19082&tid=ACSDT1Y2018.B19082&hidePreview=true&g=0100000US,.04000.001&y=2018&tp=true.
  12. National Center for Education Statistics, Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the United States, (U.S. Department of Education, 2020), available at https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/tables/acgr_re_and_characteristics_2018-19.asp
  13. Kids Count Data Center, Persons age 18 to 24 not attending school, not working, and no degree beyond high school (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2020), available at https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/5063-persons-age-18-to-24-not-attending-school-not-working-and-no-degree-beyond-high-school?loc=1&loct=1#detailed/2/2-53/false/1729/any/11485
  14. United States Census Bureau, Sex by Age by Educational Attainment: 2021 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022) available at https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=B15001&lastDisplayedRow=24&table=B15001&tid=ACSDT1Y2018.B15001&hidePreview=true&g=0100000US.04000.001&tp=true.
  15. United States Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the U.S: 2021 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022) available at https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=B20017&lastDisplayedRow=9&table=B20017&tid=ACSDT1Y2018.B20017&hidePreview=true&g=0100000US.04000.001&tp=true.
  16. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2021, available at https://www.bls.gov/lau/lastrk21.htm
  17. Employment and Training Administration, Unemployment Insurance Chartbook, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2021), available at https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/chartbook.asp.
  18. Kids Count Data Center, Children 0 to 17 in Foster Care, (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2020), available at https://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6242-children-0-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/2/2-52/true/574/any/20455.
  19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National Vital Statistics Reports: Births Final Data for 2020”, Vol. 70 No. 17, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2020), available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr70/nvsr70-17.pdf.
  20. Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew Rabbitt, Christian Gregory, and Anita Singh for the Economic Research Service, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2021”, No. 309, (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2021), available at https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/104656/err-309.pdf?v=2807.8.
  21. National Low Income Housing Coalition, "The Gap" (2022), available at https://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/gap/Gap-Report_2022.pdf
  22. Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, Custom Data Table Tool: Alternative financial services, (FDIC, 2019), available at https://www.fdic.gov/analysis/household-survey/2019appendix.pdf
  23. United States Census Bureau, Health Insurance Coverage Status by Ratio of Income to Poverty: 2021 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022), available at https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=c27016&lastDisplayedRow=9&table=C27016&tid=ACSDT1Y2018.C27016&hidePreview=true&g=0100000US.04000.001&tp=true.