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World Poverty

a guide to resources for data and publications about poverty worldwide.

U.S. Poverty Data and Statistics

For statistical data in other categories, see:

U.S. Census Bureau Income and Poverty Data

Sources of U.S. Census Bureau Poverty Data

The following are surveys employed by the Census Bureau to determine levels of poverty and inequality.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract of the United States is a one-volume, comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.

Searching Statistical Abstracts:

  1. Do a keyword search for the relevant tables.
  2. Find the Section that is appropriate. Currently Section 13: Income, Expenditures, Poverty, and Wealth 


Each section begins with an essay that will explain what surveys and data sources were used to create the tables.  Also provide information about the historical extent of the data. For example, the original poverty thresholds were based on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 1961 Economy Food Plan.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Welfare Rules Database Project [The Urban Institute]

Bureau of Labor Statistics [U.S. Department of Labor]

Homeless and Homelessness