The data below reflect the national averages for essential poverty and wellbeing statistics. For data that is specific to states and congressional districts, see our poverty by area tool.
Poverty Rates 1
Overall Poverty Rate: 13.5% (43.1 million people)
Percent of people who fell below the poverty line—$24,250 for a family of four—in 2015
Twice the Poverty Level: 31.7% (100.9 million people)
Percent of people who fell below twice the poverty line—$48,500 for a family of four—in 2015
Half the Poverty Level: 6.1% (19.4 million people)
Percent of people who fell below half the poverty line—$12,125 for a family of four—in 2015
Child Poverty Rate: 19.7% (14.5 million people)
Percent of children under age 18 who fell below the poverty line in 2015
Women’s Poverty Rate: 14.8% (24.1 million people)
Percent of females who fell below the poverty line in 2015
African American Poverty Rate: 24.1% (10.0 million people)
Percentage of African Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2015
Hispanic Poverty Rate: 21.4% (12.1 million people)
Percentage of Hispanics who fell below the poverty line in 2015
White Poverty Rate: 9.1% (17.8 million people)
Percentage of non-Hispanic Whites who fell below the poverty line in 2015
Native American Poverty Rate: 26.6% (700,000 people)
Percentage of Native Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2015
People with Disabilities Poverty Rate: 28.5% (4.4 million people)
Percentage of people with disabilities who fell below the poverty line in 2015
Creating Good Jobs
Income Inequality: 16.3 2
Ratio of the share of income going to the top 20% and bottom 20% of households in 2015
High School Graduation Rate: 82.3% 3
Percent of high school students that graduated on time at the end of the 2013-14 school year
Disconnected Youth: 15% 4
Percentage of youth ages 18 to 24 who were not in school or working in 2014
Higher Education Attainment Rate: 42.9% 5
Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 who had an associate’s degree or higher in 2015
Gender Wage Gap: 80 cents 6
Median earnings of full-time year-round working women compared to that of men in 2015
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% 7
Percentage of all workers who were unemployed in 2015
Unemployment Insurance Coverage: 27.5% 8
Percentage of unemployed workers who received unemployment insurance in 2015
Strengthening Families and Communities
Children Living Apart from Parents: 5 9
Number of children who lived in foster care for every 1,000 children under age 18 in 2014
Teen Birth Rate: 24.2 10
Number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 2014
Promoting Family Economic Security
Hunger and Food Insecurity: 12.7% 11
Percentage of households who were food insecure on average from 2014 to 2015, meaning that at some point during the year, they experienced difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of money or resources.
Affordable and Available Housing: 57 12
Number of apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low incomes in 2014. Very low-income households are those with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income.
Savings and Assets: 7.0% 13
Percentage of households that used high-cost, high-risk forms of credit to make ends meet during 2013. This includes payday loans, automobile title loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own, and pawning.
Lack of Health Insurance Coverage: 19.1% 14
Percent of people under age 65 and below 138% of the poverty line who did not have health insurance at any time in 2015.
1. Bernadette D. Proctor, Jessica L. Semega, and Melissa A. Kollar for the U.S. Census Bureau, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015” (United States Department of Labor, 2015), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2016/demo/p60-256.pdf.
2. United States Census Bureau, Shares of Aggregate Household Income by Quintile: 2015 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_1YR_B19082&prodType=table.
3. National Center for Education Statistics, Public high school 4-year adjusted cohort graduation rate (ACGR) for the United States, (U.S. Department of Education, 2016), available at https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/tables/ACGR_RE_and_characteristics_2013-14.asp.
4. Kids Count Data Center, Persons age 18 to 24 not attending school, not working, and no degree beyond high school, (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2016), available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/5063-persons-age-18-to-24-not-attending-school-not-working-and-no-degree-beyond-high-school?loc=1#detailed/1/any/false/869/any/11485.
5. United States Census Bureau, Sex by Age by Educational Attainment: 2015 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_1YR_B15001&prodType=table.
6. United States Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the U.S: 2015 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2015) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_1YR_S0201&prodType=table.
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2015, available at http://www.bls.gov/lau/lastrk15.htm.
8. Employment and Training Administration, Unemployment Insurance Summary Data, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016), available at http://www.workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/content/data.asp.
9. Kids Count Data Center, Children 0 to 17 in Foster Care, (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2016), available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6242-children-0-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/1/any/false/869/any/12986.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National Vital Statistics Reports: Births Final Data for 2014”, Vol. 65 No. 1, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016), available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr64/nvsr64_12.pdf.
11. Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew Rabbitt, Christian Gregory, and Anita Singh for the Economic Research Service, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2015”, No. 215, (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2016), available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/2137663/err215.pdf.
12. National Low Income Housing Coalition, “The Gap” (2016), available at http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Gap-Report_print.pdf.
13. Federal Deposit Insurance Commission, Custom Data Table Tool: Alternative financial services, (FDIC, 2015), available at https://www.economicinclusion.gov/custom-data/index.html.
14. United States Census Bureau, Health Insurance Coverage Status by Ratio of Income to Poverty: American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2016), available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_1YR_C27016&prodType=table.