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Poverty & Economic Mobility

ASPE releases the annual U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines, which are used to determine financial eligibility for some Federal programs. Presented here are the poverty lines for every State and the District of Columbia. You will also find extensive resources on poverty estimates, trends, and analysis, plus historical information on poverty and the Guidelines. More broadly, this section also encompasses issues like poverty and income dynamics, and asset building and financial literacy.


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Report to Congress

Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Thirteenth Report to Congress

February 28, 2014
The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prepare an annual report to Congress on indicators of welfare dependence. The Indicators of Welfare Dependence report is prepared by ASPE’s Office of Human Services Policy.

Work-Family Supports for Low-Income Families: Key Research Findings and Policy Trends

February 28, 2014
The paper addresses four areas of work-family policy with particular relevance for the wellbeing of low-income working parents and their families: (1) unpaid family and medical leave, (2) paid parental or family leave (extended leave), (3) paid sick leave (short-term leave), and (4) workplace flexibility or initiatives to expand employees’ control over work shifts, hours, and other circumstance

Performance Improvement 2013-2014

December 31, 2013
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20201

America's Children in Poverty: A New Look at Who's Poor Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure

November 30, 2013
This research brief examines child poverty in 2010 using both the official poverty measure that the Census Bureau has been using since the 1960s and the more recent Research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM).

Supplemental Poverty Measure Brief: 2009-2012

November 20, 2013
This brief summarizes data released by the Census Bureau on the research supplemental poverty measure.

Change in Child Poverty by Selected Demographic Characteristics: 2007-2012

October 22, 2013
This brief analyzes and summarizes changes in child poverty from 2007-2012. Cited statistics include changes in the poverty rate and number of children in poverty by age, race and ethnicity, family type, and immigrant generation.

Change in Child Poverty by Select Demographic Characteristics: 2007-2012

October 22, 2013
Since the Great Recession poverty has increased overall and particularly for children. Nearly all of the increase in child poverty occurred between 2007 and 2010 with the national rate rising by 3.8 percentage points, as shown by the orange bars (from 18.0 percent to 21.8 percent). In 2011 and 2012 the national poverty rate leveled off with little change, as shown by the green bars.