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U.S. Poverty Rate Is 12.8% but Varies Significantly by Age Groups

4 Oct 2022 11:47 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

The national poverty rate was 12.8% in 2021, but was significantly different for the nation's oldest and youngest populations, according to a new Census Bureau report released today. [US Census Bureau]

The child poverty rate (for people under age 18) was 16.9% in 2021, 4.2 percentage points higher than the national rate, while poverty for those ages 65 and over was 10.3%, 2.5 percentage points lower than the national rate.

The American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates provide data for a number of demographic, social and economic indicators, including poverty. The estimates are used by planners, policymakers and community stakeholders to evaluate trends and make comparisons across demographic groups.

The national child poverty rate was 16.9% but there was considerable variation among states, ranging from 8.1% to 27.7%.

Government agencies, researchers and local organizations regularly use these estimates to measure economic well-being and identify the number of individuals and families eligible for various programs. 

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