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

Paper 17

Posted March 2, 2010
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Urban Institute, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Get the Full Report:
Download Report
Aecf Measuring Poverty State Level Low Income Families cover


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.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

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.