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: 12.7% (40.6 million people)

Percentage of people who fell below the poverty line—$24,340 for a family of four—in 2016

Twice the Poverty Level: 29.8% (95.2 million people)

Percentage of people who fell below twice the poverty line—$48,680 for a family of four—in 2016

Half the Poverty Level: 5.8% (18.5 million people)

Percentage of people who fell below half the poverty line—$12,170 for a family of four—in 2016

Child Poverty Rate: 18.0% (13.3 million people)

Percentage of children under age 18 who fell below the poverty line in 2016

Women’s Poverty Rate: 14.0% (22.9 million people)

Percentage of females who fell below the poverty line in 2016

African American Poverty Rate: 22.0% (9.2 million people)

Percentage of African Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2016

Hispanic Poverty Rate: 19.4% (11.1 million people)

Percentage of Hispanics who fell below the poverty line in 2016

White Poverty Rate: 8.8% (17.3 million people)

Percentage of non-Hispanic Whites who fell below the poverty line in 2016

Native American Poverty Rate: 26.2% (700,000 people)

Percentage of Native Americans who fell below the poverty line in 2016

People with Disabilities Poverty Rate: 26.8% (4.1 million people)

Percentage of people with disabilities ages 18 to 64 who fell below the poverty line in 2016


Creating Good Jobs

Income Inequality: 16.5 2

Ratio of the share of income going to the top 20% and bottom 20% of households in 2016

High School Graduation Rate: 83.2% 3

Percentage of high school students who graduated on time at the end of the 2014-15 school year

Disconnected Youth: 14% 4

Percentage of youth ages 18 to 24 who were not in school or working in 2015

Higher Education Attainment Rate: 43.9% 5

Percentage of young adults ages 25 to 34 who had an associate’s degree or higher in 2016

Gender Wage Gap: 80.3 cents 6

Median earnings of full-time year-round working women compared to that of men in 2016

Unemployment Rate: 4.9% 7

Percentage of all workers who were unemployed in 2016

Unemployment Insurance Coverage: 26.7% 8

Percentage of unemployed workers who received unemployment insurance in 2016


Strengthening Families and Communities

Children Living Apart from Parents: 6 9

Number of children who lived in foster care for every 1,000 children under age 18 in 2015

Teen Birth Rate: 22.3 10

Number of births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 19 in 2015


Promoting Family Economic Security

Hunger and Food Insecurity: 13.0% 11

Percentage of households who were food insecure on average from 2015 to 2016, 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: 55 12

Number of apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low incomes in 2015. Very low-income households are those with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income.

Savings and Assets: 7.7% 13

Percentage of households that used high-cost, high-risk forms of credit to make ends meet during 2015. This includes payday loans, automobile title loans, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own, and pawning.

Lack of Health Insurance Coverage: 17.4% 14

Percentage of people under age 65 and below 138% of the poverty line who did not have health insurance at any time in 2016.


1. All poverty rate data are from Jessica L. Semega, Kayla R. Fontenot, and Melissa A. Kollar for the U.S. Census Bureau, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2016” (United States Department of Commerce, 2017), available at https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2017/demo/P60-259.pdf. Exception is data for Native Americans, which can be found at United States Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the United States: 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/16_1YR/S0201//popgroup~006.
2. United States Census Bureau, Shares of Aggregate Household Income by Quintile: 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_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_2014-15.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/2/2-52/false/573/any/11485.
5. United States Census Bureau, Sex by Age by Educational Attainment: 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_B15001&prodType=table.
6. United States Census Bureau, Selected Population Profile in the U.S: 2016 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates, (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2016) available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_S0201&prodType=table.
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, 2016, available at https://www.bls.gov/lau/lastrk16.htm.
8. Employment and Training Administration, Unemployment Insurance Chartbook, (U.S. Department of Labor, 2017), available at https://ows.doleta.gov/unemploy/chartbook.asp.
9. Kids Count Data Center, Children 0 to 17 in Foster Care, (The Annie E. Casey Foundation, 2017), available at http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/6242-children-0-to-17-in-foster-care?loc=1&loct=2#detailed/2/2-52/true/573/any/12986.
10. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “National Vital Statistics Reports: Births Final Data for 2015”, Vol. 66 No. 1, (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2017), available at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr66/nvsr66_01.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 2016”, No. 237, (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2016), available at https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/84973/err-237.pdf?v=42979.
12. National Low Income Housing Coalition, “The Gap” (2017), available at http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/Gap-Report_2017.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 Commerce, 2016), available at http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_16_1YR_C27016&prodType=table.