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Marital status-poverty status in 1985 of persons, family householders, and unrelated individuals 15 and over, by age, sex, and race....
Educational attainment-poverty status in 1985 of persons 15 and over, by age, sex, and race......
Work experience-poverty status in 1985 of persons 15 and over, by age, sex, and
Selected characteristics of the aged-poverty status in 1985 of persons 60 years and over, by age and sex
Hispanics-poverty status in 1985 of persons, by type of Hispanic origin, type of residence, family status and type of family...
Size of family-poverty status in 1985 of families, by type of family and race of householder ....
Number of related children under 18 years-poverty status in 1985 of families, by type of family and sex and race of householder......
Living arrangements - poverty status in 1985 of unrelated individuals 16 and over
Employment status in March 1986-poverty status in 1985 of family householders
Work experience of householder-poverty status in 1985 of family householders,
Work experience of unrelated individuals-poverty status in 1985 of unrelated indi-
Working mothers-poverty status in 1985 of women with own children under 18,
Own children-poverty status in 1985 of own children under 18, by age, type of
Total money income of families below the poverty level in 1985, by presence of
Type of income-poverty status in 1985 of families and unrelated individuals, by
30. Selected characteristics of families below 125 percent of the poverty level in 1985. 143 31. Selected characteristics of unrelated individuals below 125 percent of the poverty
Presence and age of related children-poverty status in 1985 of families, by type of family and age and race of householder.......
Poverty area residence-poverty status in 1985 of families, by selected characteristics......
Tenure-poverty status in 1985 of families and nonfamily householders, by selected characteristics......
level in 1985......
Poverty status of Hispanic families and unrelated individuals, by type of Hispanic origin and other selected characteristics.......
Standard errors for selected characteristics of persons below the poverty level in
andard errors for selected characteristics of families below the poverty level in
Definitions, Explanations, Limitations, and Comparability of Data
Comparability of estimates from March 1986 CPS with estimates for previous
Population controls .....
Comparability of metropolitan and nonmetropolitan data from the March 1986
Noninterviews, nonresponses, and allocations
Questionnaire wording and procedures
Changes in sample size......
Definition of the income universe......
Revisions to the earnings question on the March 1986 CPS.
Source and Reliability of Estimates.
Source of data.....
Reliability of estimates.
Underreporting of Income.
A 1. The Consumer Price Index and the average poverty threshold for a family of four: 1959 to 1985.........
B 1. Standard errors of estimated numbers of persons and families, by poverty status and race: 1980-85 (Total, White, and Black)......
A 2. Poverty thresholds in 1985, by size of family and number of related children under 18 years old........
B 2. Standard errors of estimated numbers of persons and families, by poverty status: 1980 85 (Hispanic)........
Standard errors of estimated percentages of persons below the poverty level: 198085.........
B 10 Parameters for estimated numbers and percentages of persons and families below the poverty level, by region and farm-nonfarm residence: 1980 85
Factors to be applied to generalized standard errors in table B 3 .....
B 5. Factors to be applied to all non-Hispanic standard errors for 1959 to present......... 176 Parameters for estimated numbers and percentages of persons, by poverty status, age, sex, and race: 1980-85........
B 7. Parameters for estimated numbers and percentages of Hispanics, by poverty status, age, and sex: 1973 85........
B 8. Parameters for estimated number and percentages of families or unrelated individuals by poverty status and race: 1980-85........
B 9. Parameters for estimated numbers and percentages of selected characteristics of families or unrelated individuals regardless of income status......
B 11 Year-to-year correlation coefficients for poverty estimates......
C1. Comparison of CPS aggregate money income in 1983 with independent estimates of aggregate money income adjusted to CPS money income concepts, by type of income and reported and allocated CPS amounts.
Characteristics of the Population Below the Poverty Level:
This report presents social and economic characteristics of the population below the poverty level in 1985 based on the March 1986 Current Population Survey (CPS). The poverty definition used here is that adopted for official Government use by the Office of Management and Budget and consists of a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition. Families or individuals with income below their appropriate threshold are classified as below the poverty level. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index. For example, the average poverty threshold for a family of four was $10,989 in 1985 and $10,609 in 1984. These thresholds are based on money income only and do not include the value of noncash benefits such as employerprovided health insurance, food stamps or Medicaid. For further discussion, see the section entitled "Collection and Limitations of Poverty Data."
The data in the report consist of cross classifications of poverty status by such characteristics as age, race, sex, family relationship, educational attainment, work experience, and type of income received. Although the primary focus of these data is on the United States as a whole, some tables are also shown by region and type of residence. In the text, the terms "poverty population," "poor," and "below the poverty level" are used interchangeably, as are the terms "nonpoor" and "above the poverty level." Characteristics such as age and marital status are as of the survey date leg, March 1986), while income, poverty, and work experience data refer to the whole previous calendar year (e g.. 1985). In the report the reference year cited refers to the "income" year.
In 1985 the poverty population numbered 33 1 mil· lion, a figure not significantly different from that for 1984
• About 14 percent of the Nation's population was poor in 1985, a poverty rate slightly lower (at the 90 percent confidence level) than the 1984 estimate of 14 4 percent
• About 34 percent of the poor were children under age 15, and 43 percent were under 20 years old
• Children under age 10 had a poverty rate higher than any other age group in 1985 (22 percent).
• There was considerable variation in poverty rates within the elderly population, with persons 65 to 69 years of age having a poverty rate only about one-half of that for persons 85 years and over (9.4 percent versus 18.7 percent in 1985).
• Although the Black and other-races populations are disproportionately represented among the poor, 69 percent of poor persons in 1985 were White.
• About 16 percent of the poor in 1985 were Hispanic, a historic high.
• The poverty rate remains highest in the South (16 percent in 1985) and lowest in the Northeast (116) percent).
• A smaller proportion of the poor than the nonpoor lived in metropolitan areas in 1985 (70 versus 79 percent).
• Within metropolitan areas, the majority of the nonpoor lived outside central cities (62 percent), while the majority of the poor lived in central cities (61 percent).
• About 48 percent of poor families were maintained by women with no husband present in 1985. This proportion has leveled off in the 1980's and was slightly higher in 1978.
• About 34 percent of the Nation's families maintained by a woman with no spouse present were poor in 1985, compared with 7 percent of married couple families and 13 percent of families maintained by a man with no wife present
• Unrelated individuals (persons living alone or with nonrelatives only) accounted for about 20 percent of the poor in 1985.
Half of all poor family householders (25 years and older) had not graduated from high school
• About half of poor family householders worked at sometime during 1985 and 16 percent worked yearround, full time. About 80 percent of nonpoor family householders worked in 1985
• About 38 percent of poor female householders with children under 6 and no husband present worked in 1985, compared with 87 percent of nonpoor female householders in this family situation.
• About 62 percent of the Nation's poor families gained at least some of their income in 1985 from their own earnings; earnings accounted for 49 percent of the aggregate money income of the poor in 1985. About 37 percent of poor families received public assistance (principally AFDC) with such assistance accounting for 24 percent of the aggregate money income of the poor.
The average amount of money needed to raise the incomes of poor families above their respective poverty threshold was about $4,300 in 1985, and $2,400 for unrelated individuals.
The total amount required to raise the incomes of all poor families and unrelated individuals above the poverty level in 1985 was $47.8 billion.
TRENDS IN THE NUMBER OF POOR
The number of persons below the poverty level showed no statistically significant change from 1984 to 1985 after declining by 1.6 million between 1983 and 1984. In 1985, the poverty population numbered 33.1 million, compared to a 1984 estimate of 33.7 million. (See table A.) From 1978 to 1983, the number of poor persons
Table A. Number of Persons Below the Poverty Level and Poverty Rate, by Race and Hispanic Origin: 1959 to 1985
(Numbers in thousands Persons as of March of the following year)
had increased by 44 percent, from 24.5 million to 35.3 million. Between 1970 and 1977, the size of the poverty population fluctuated between 23 and 26 million after a dramatic reduction in the number of persons below the poverty level in the 1960's (from 39.5 million in 1959 to 24.1 million in 1969). Poverty data using the Government's definition were first tabulated in 1959.
About 14.0 percent of the Nation's population were in poverty in 1985, a figure slightly lower (at the 90-percent but not 95-percent confidence level) than the 1984 estimate of 14.4 percent. During the 197883 period, the poverty rate had increased from 11.4 percent to 15.2 percent. The latter figure was the highest rate since the mid-1960's. During the 197077 period, the poverty rate did not vary much (between 12.6 percent and 11.1 percent), while in the 1960's, the percentage of the population below the poverty level fell sharply from 22.4 percent in 1959 to 12.1 percent in 1969.
DEMOGRAPHIC AND SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POOR
Age. The most striking feature in the age distribution of the poor was the proportion composed of children: 34
'The poverty rate in 1982 (15.0) was not statistically different from the 1983 rate (15.2) The 1983 poverty rate was significantly higher than the 1966 poverty rate at the 90-percent level of confidence.