Measuring Poverty at the State Level: Low-Income Working Families

Paper 17

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Urban Institute, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

March 2, 2010


This report looks at the results of implementing a poverty measure for Minnesota using the American Community Survey (ACS) – including the benefits, challenges and implications of this poverty benchmark. The report further describes the potential effects of alternative safety-net policies on poverty.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Improving poverty measurement and policies

While most states agree that a benchmark is needed to track progress in reducing poverty, the official measure of poverty used in the United States – based only on cash income and a 1950s-era national measure of need – doesn’t suffice. What’s needed is a poverty measurement using the American Community Survey to help inform and test the results of poverty reductions policies.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations