Living in Near Poverty in the United States: 1966–2012

Source: Charles Hokayem and Misty L. Heggeness, U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-248, May 2014

….This report provides descriptive characteristics of individuals in near poverty covering 1966–2012. It also provides a comparison with characteristics of individuals living in poverty. The demographic characteristics include age, sex, race, family type, and region, as well as educational attainment, employment status, and health insurance coverage. ….
• In 2012, 14.7 million people in the United States had family incomes between 100 and 125 percent of their poverty threshold. The near-poverty rate for individuals decreased from 6.3 percent in 1966 to 4.7 percent in 2012.
• Individuals with less than a high school degree had a near-poverty rate of 10.0 percent in 2012, while individuals with a college degree or more had a near-poverty rate of 1.6 percent during the same year.
• Approximately 32.5 percent of individuals living near poverty in 2012 received SNAP benefits, while 84.6 percent of individuals in near poverty lived with a family member receiving a free or reduced lunch in school. ….