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Household Income – and I noticed that a woman with a doctorate makes a couple thousand less a year on average than any man with a bachelors’ degree. And in the professional category – a woman makes half what men make at the same jobs.


Datasets by US State of low income, very low income, extremely low income limits

State Map of Median Income and Income Limits

To view all Section 8 Income Limits and Median Family Incomes for a specific State, in pdf format, go to the map below and click on that State.


Poverty in the United States is cyclical in nature with roughly 12% to 16% living below the federal poverty line at any given point in time, and roughly 40% falling below the poverty line at some time within a 10 year time span.[2] Most Americans (58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.[3] While there remains some controversy over whether the official poverty threshold over- or understates poverty, the United States has some of the highest absolute and relative pre- and post-transfer poverty rates in the developed world.[4][5] Overall, the U.S. ranks 12th on the Human Development Index.[6]

Those under the age of 18 were the most likely to be impoverished. In 2006 the poverty rate for minors in the United States was the highest in the industrialized world, with 21.9% of all minors and 30% of African American minors living below the poverty threshold.[7] Moreover, the standard of living for those in the bottom 10% was lower in the U.S. than other developed nations except the United Kingdom

The “absolute poverty line” is the threshold below which families or individuals are considered to be lacking the resources to meet the basic needs for healthy living; having insufficient income to provide the food, shelter and clothing needed to preserve health.

The Census Bureau issues the poverty thresholds, which are generally used for statistical purposes—for example, to estimate the number of people in poverty nationwide each year and classify them by type of residence, race, and other social, economic, and demographic characteristics. The Department of Health and Human Services issues the poverty guidelines for administrative purposes—for instance, to determine whether a person or family is eligible for assistance through various federal programs.[12]

The newly formed United States Office of Economic Opportunity adopted the lower of the Orshansky poverty thresholds for statistical, planning, and budgetary purposes in May 1965.

The Bureau of the Budget (now the Office of Management and Budget) adopted Orshansky’s definition for statistical use in all Executive departments in 1965. The measure gave a range of income cutoffs, or thresholds, adjusted for factors such as family size, sex of the family head, number of children under 18 years old, and farm or non-farm residence. The economy food plan (the least costly of four nutritionally adequate food plans designed by the Department of Agriculture) was at the core of this definition of poverty.[13]

The Department of Agriculture found that families of three or more persons spent about one third of their after-tax income on food.

Two changes were made to the poverty definition in 1969. Thresholds for non-farm families were tied to annual changes in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rather than changes in the cost of the economy food plan. Farm thresholds were raised from 70 to 85% of the non-farm levels.

In 1981, further changes were made to the poverty definition. Separate thresholds for “farm” and “female-householder” families were eliminated. The largest family size category became “nine persons or more.”[13]

Apart from these changes, the U.S. government’s approach to measuring poverty has remained static for the past forty years.

The official poverty rate in the U.S. increased for four consecutive years, from a 26-year low of 11.3% in 2000 to 12.7% in 2004, then declined somewhat to 12.3% in 2006. This means that 36.5 million people (approx 1 in 8 Americans) were below the official poverty thresholds in 2006,

Another way of looking at poverty is in relative terms. “Relative poverty” can be defined as having significantly less access to income and wealth than other members of society. Therefore, the relative poverty rate can directly be linked to income inequality. When the standard of living among those in more financially advantageous positions rises while that of those considered poor stagnates, the relative poverty rate will reflect such growing income inequality and increase.


By European standards the official (relative) poverty rate in the United States would be significantly higher than it is by the U.S. measure. A research paper from the OECD calculates the relative poverty rate for the United States at 16% for 50% median of disposable income and nearly 24% for 60% of median disposable income[18]


The United Nations Development Programme, uses the human poverty index in order to assess the development with regards to poverty among OECD countries. The index takes the likelihood of a child not surviving to age 60, functional illiteracy rate, long-term unemployment and the population living on less than 50% of the median national income into account. While the United States has one of the second lowest long-term unemployment rates in the developed world, it has the highest percentage of children who are not likely to live to age 60 and persons living on less than 50% of the national median income and the third highest percentage of adults lacking functional literacy skills.




Info from DataQuick on California foreclosures through June 33, 2008

Mortgage servicers recorded 121,341 “notices of default” during the April-through-June period. That was up 6.6 percent from a revised 113,809 for this year’s first quarter, and up 124.9 percent from 53,943 in second-quarter 2007, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

There are 8.4 million houses and condos in the state, DataQuick reported.

Foreclosure resales have emerged as a significant market factor, accounting for 40.0 percent of all California resale activity last quarter. A year ago it was 5.4 percent. Foreclosure resales vary significantly by area, from 3.0 percent in San Francisco County to 75.1 percent in Merced County.


Source: DataQuick Information Systems

Media calls: Andrew LePage (916)456-7157 or John Karevoll (909)867-9534



The overall median income for all 155 million persons over the age of 15 who worked with earnings in 2005 was $28,567.[6]

Personal income is a measure utilized by the United States government, particularly the Department of Commerce, to determine the income of individuals. It is most often only applied to those who are either above the age of 15, 18, or 25 and are considered to be members of the labor force.

[ . . .]

As a result 15.8% of households have six figure incomes, even though only 5.63% of Americans had incomes exceeding $100,000. The following chart shows the income distribution among all 191,884,000 individuals aged 25 or higher as recorded by the United States Census Bureau. All numbers are given in 1000s.[7]

Charts from the US Commerce Department



The economy of the United States is the largest national economy in the world.[7] Its gross domestic product (GDP) was estimated as $13.8 trillion in 2007.


They just spent that much bailing out the financial services and their gambling habits over the course of this year, if the inclusion of all bailout funding is added up – they spent more than that. One night, the Fed floated $690 billion into the international community – is that backed up by anything?

(my notes – just a thought) – Cricket Diane C Sparky Phillips, 10-07-08, USA