Measuring Poverty

Highlights

Measuring Poverty

February 19, 2010

Abstract

Many agree that the official measure of poverty in the United States is flawed. Experts have recommended an alternative measure of poverty that includes all family resources net of taxes and nondiscretionary expenses and updates the thresholds to reflect current spending patterns. This fact sheet describes the official poverty measure and an alternative measure developed by the National Academy of Sciences, and uses data from the 2006 American Community Survey to estimate the extent of poverty in Minnesota under the official and alternative measure.

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