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.

  • Poverty rate (OPM) 1

    11.6%

    37.9 million people

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

  • Double the poverty threshold (OPM) 2

    27.6%

    90.6 million people

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

  • Half the poverty threshold (OPM) 3

    5.5%

    18.2 million people

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

  • Child poverty rate (OPM) 4

    15.3%

    11.1 million people

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

  • Women's poverty rate (OPM) 5

    12.6%

    20.9 million people

    Percentage of women who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Men's poverty rate (OPM) 6

    10.5%

    17 million people

    Percentage of men who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • African-American poverty rate (OPM) 7

    19.5%

    8.6 million people

    Percentage of African-Americans who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Hispanic or Latino poverty rate (OPM) 8

    17.1%

    10.7 million people

    Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Asian-American poverty rate (OPM) 9

    9.3%

    1.9 million people

    Percentage of Asian-Americans who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • White poverty rate (OPM) 10

    8.1%

    15.8 million people

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

  • Native American poverty rate (OPM) 11

    24.3%

    1 million people

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

  • People with disabilities poverty rate (OPM) 12

    24.9%

    4 million people

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

  • Poverty rate (SPM) 13

    7.8%

    25.6 million people

    Percentage of people who fell below the poverty thresholds adjusted for housing costs—$31,107 for a family of four with a mortgage, $26,279 for a family of four without a mortgage, and $31,453 for a family of four that pays rent—in 2021

  • Double the poverty threshold (SPM) 14

    34%

    Percentage of people who fell below twice the poverty thresholds adjusted for housing costs—$62,215 for a family of four with a mortgage, $52,558 for a family of four without a mortgage, and $62,906 for a family of four that pays rent—in 2021

  • Half the poverty threshold (SPM) 15

    2.9%

    Percentage of people who fell below half the poverty thresholds adjusted for housing costs—$15,554 for a family of four with a mortgage, $13,140 for a family of four without a mortgage, and $15,726 for a family of four that pays rent—in 2021

  • Child poverty rate (SPM) 16

    5.2%

    3.8 million people

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

  • Women's poverty rate (SPM) 17

    7.9%

    13.2 million people

    Percentage of women who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Men's poverty rate (SPM) 18

    7.6%

    12.4 million people

    Percentage of men who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • African-American poverty rate (SPM) 19

    11.3%

    5 million people

    Percentage of African-Americans who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Hispanic or Latino poverty rate (SPM) 20

    11.2%

    7 million people

    Percentage of Hispanics or Latinos who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Asian-American poverty rate (SPM) 21

    9.5%

    2 million people

    Percentage of Asian-Americans who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • White poverty rate (SPM) 22

    5.7%

    11.1 million people

    Percentage of non-Hispanic or Latino whites who fell below the poverty threshold in 2021

  • Native American poverty rate (SPM) 23

    12.4%

    0.5 million people

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

  • People with disabilities poverty rate (SPM) 24

    15.8%

    2.5 million people

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

  • Income inequality 25

    17.4%

    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 26

    86.5%

    Percentage of public high school students who graduated on time in the 2019-20 school year

  • Disconnected youth 27

    13%

    Percentage of youth ages 18 to 24 with no degree beyond high school who were not in school or working in 2021

  • Higher education attainment rate 28

    47.9%

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

  • Gender wage gap 29

    77

    Median earnings of all working women compared to that of men in 2021

  • Unemployment rate 30

    5.3%

    Percentage of all workers who were unemployed in 2021

  • Unemployment insurance coverage 31

    36.5%

    Percentage of unemployed workers who received unemployment insurance in 2021

  • Children living apart from parents 32

    5

    Number of children who lived in foster care for every 1,000 children under age 18 in 2021

  • Teen birth rate 33

    14

    Number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 2021

  • Hunger and food insecurity 34

    10.2%

    Percentage of households that were food insecure on average in 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 35

    33

    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 the federal poverty guideline or 30 percent of the area median income—in 2021

  • Savings and assets 36

    4.4%

    Percentage of households who used high-cost, high-risk forms of credit to make ends meet during 2021, including payday loans, automobile title loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own, and pawning

  • Lack of health insurance coverage 37

    17.3%

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

  • Zero or negative net worth 38

    11.3%

    Percentage of households with zero or negative net worth—the sum of assets minus the sum of liabilities—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

* Correction, December 15, 2022: The 2021, 2019, and 2018 versions of this page have been updated to state the correct year captured in the food insecurity data available under the “Economic security” tab.

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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. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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/table?q=B19082:+SHARES+OF+AGGREGATE+HOUSEHOLD+INCOME+BY+QUINTILE&tid=ACSDT1Y2021.B19082.
  26. National Center for Education Statistics, Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the United States, (U.S. Department of Education, 2021), available at https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/data_tables.asp#Page:1.
  27. 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, 2023), available at https://datacenter.aecf.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/true/2048/any/11485.
  28. 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/table?q=B15001:+SEX+BY+AGE+BY+EDUCATIONAL+ATTAINMENT+FOR+THE+POPULATION+18+YEARS+AND+OVER&tid=ACSDT1Y2021.B15001.
  29. Jessica Semega and Melissa Kollar, "Income in the United States: 2021" (Washington: U.S. Census Bureau, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2022/demo/p60-276.html.
  30. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2021, available at https://www.bls.gov/lau/lastrk21.htm
  31. Employment and Training Administration, Unemployment Insurance Chartbook, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2021), available at https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/chartbook.asp.
  32. Kids Count Data Center, Children 0 to 17 in Foster Care, (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2023), available at https://datacenter.aecf.org/data/tables/6242-children-ages-birth-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/2/2-52/true/2048/any/20455.
  33. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National Vital Statistics Reports: Births Final Data for 2021”, Vol. 72 No. 1, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2023), available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr72/nvsr72-01.pdf.
  34. 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.
  35. National Low Income Housing Coalition, "The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Homes" (2023), available at https://nlihc.org/gap.
  36. Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, Custom Data Table Tool: Alternative financial services, (FDIC, 2023), available at hhttps://www.fdic.gov/analysis/household-survey/.
  37. 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/table?q=C27016:+HEALTH+INSURANCE+COVERAGE+STATUS+BY+RATIO+OF+INCOME+TO+POVERTY+LEVEL+IN+THE+PAST+12+MONTHS+BY+AGE&tid=ACSDT1Y2021.C27016.
  38. United States Census Bureau, Percent Distribution of Household Net Worth, by Amount of Net Worth and Selected Characteristics: Survey of Income and Program Participation, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2022), available at https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/wealth/data/tables.All.List_2110684178.html#list-tab-List_2110684178.

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