Poverty Area Measures
This data product provides poverty area measures for counties and census tracts across the 50 States and Washington DC. The measures include indicators of high poverty areas, extreme poverty areas, persistent poverty areas, and enduring poverty areas for Decennial Census years 1960–2000 and for American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year periods spanning 2007–11, 2015–19, and 2017–21.
Data Training Webinar: Poverty Area Measures
During this webinar, ERS Geographer Tracey Farrigan and ERS Economist Austin Sanders present an overview of the Poverty Area Measures data product, highlight its many uses, and demonstrate where to find it on the ERS website. See more information on the data training webinar (a recording is available).
- This data product uniquely provides poverty area measures at the census-tract level for decennial years 1970 through 2000 and 5-year periods spanning 2007–11 and 2015–19.
- The poverty area measure—enduring poverty—is introduced, which captures the entrenchment of high poverty in counties for Decennial Census years 1960–2000 and for ACS 5-year average periods spanning 2007–11 and 2017–21. The same is available for census tracts beginning in 1970 and ending with 2015–19.
- High and extreme poverty area measures are provided for various data years, offering end-users the flexibility to adjust persistent poverty area measures to meet their unique needs.
- All measures are geographically standardized to allow for direct comparison over time and for census tracts within county analysis.
- Diverse geocoding is provided, which can be used for mapping/GIS applications, to link to supplemental data (e.g., USDA, Economic Research Service’s Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America), and to explore various spatial categories (e.g., regions and metro/nonmetro status).
- High poverty: areas with a poverty rate of 20.0 percent or more in a single time period.
- Extreme poverty: areas with a poverty rate of 40.0 percent or more in a single time period.
- Persistent poverty: areas with a poverty rate of 20.0 percent or more for 4 consecutive time periods, about 10 years apart, spanning approximately 30 years (baseline time period plus 3 evaluation time periods).
- Enduring poverty: areas with a poverty rate of 20.0 percent or more for at least 5 consecutive time periods, about 10 years apart, spanning approximately 40 years or more (baseline time period plus four or more evaluation time periods).
Additional information about the measures can be found in the downloadable Excel file, which includes the documentation, data, and codebook for the poverty area measures (county and tract).
The next update to this data product—planned for the summer of 2024—is expected to include the addition of county-level high and extreme poverty area measures for the 5-year period 2018–22 and an update to all census tract-level measures.
|Data Set||Last Updated||Next Update|
|Poverty area measures||12/8/2023|
|Poverty area measures (in CSV format)||12/8/2023|