TABLE 5-6 Composition of the Total and Poverty Populations Under the Current and Proposed Measures, with Total Poverty Rate Held Constant at 14.5 Percent, 1992

Population Group

Percent of Total Population

Percent of Poor Population

 

 

Current Measurea

Proposed Measureb

Age      

Children under 18

26.3

39.6

39.2

Adults 18–64

61.5

49.6

51.8

Adults 65 and older

12.2

10.8

9.0

Race

White

83.6

66.8

69.3

Black

12.5

28.6

25.7

Other

3.9

4.6

5.1

Ethnicity

Hispanic

8.9

18.1

20.9

Non-Hispanic

91.1

81.9

79.1

Family Size

One person

14.5

21.7

15.7

Two persons

23.2

15.8

17.1

Three or four persons

42.3

33.5

37.4

Five or more persons

20.1

29.0

29.8

Welfare Status of Family

Receiving AFDC or SSI

9.9

40.4

29.9

Not receiving AFDC or SSI

90.1

59.6

70.1

Work Status of Family

One or more workers

81.1

50.8

58.9

No workers

18.9

49.2

41.1

Health Insurance Status of Family

No health insurance

13.7

30.1

35.7

Some health insurance

86.3

69.9

64.3

Region of Residence

Northeast

20.0

16.9

18.9

Midwest

24.0

21.7

20.2

South

34.4

40.0

36.4

West

21.6

21.4

24.5

a A threshold of $14,228 for two-adult/two-child families.

b A threshold of $13,175 for two-adult/two-child families, with a 0.75 scale economy factor; see text for discussion.

course, there are significant differences in poverty rates among groups under the current measure: for example, the rate for children (22%) is 50 percent higher than the overall rate of 14.5 percent; the rate for people in families receiving AFDC or SSI (59%) is 310 percent higher than the overall rate; and the rate for people in working families (9%) is 37 percent lower than the overall rate (see first column of Table 5-7). Hence, it is important to find an



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