TABLE 1-4 Poverty Thresholds for Two-Adult/Two-Child (or Four-Person) Families Set by Various Methods for 1989-1993, as Developed and as Converted, in 1992 Dollars (Rounded)

Type and Source of Threshold

Amount as Developed

Amount as Converteda

Absolute Threshold

 

 

Official Orshansky, 1963: Economy Food Plan times 3.0 updated by the change in the CPI

14,228

12,000

Expert Budget Thresholds

 

 

Adaptation by the panel of Orshansky (1963, 1965a): food times 4.4

20,700

17,400

Adaptation by the panel of Ruggles (1990): housing times 3.3

21,600

18,100

Weinberg and Lamas (1993), version A: food plus housing times 2.0

20,300

17,100

Weinberg and Lamas (1993), version B: food plus a somewhat higher housing standard times 2.0

21,800

18,300

Adaptation by the panel of Renwick and Bergmann (1993): budget for food, housing and household operations, transportation, health care, clothing, child care, and personal care

17,600

13,100

Schwarz and Volgy (1992): detailed budget for single-earner family

19,000

15,600

Relative Thresholds

 

 

One-half median after-tax income for four-person families: extension of series developed by Vaughan (1993)

18,000

15,100

Adaptation by the panel of Expert Committee on Family Budget Revisions (1980): one-half average expenditures of four-person consumer units

20,000

16,800

Subjective Thresholds

 

 

Gallup Poll "poverty" line: from Vaughan (1993)

17,700

14,900

General Social Survey "poverty" line

17,200

14,400

Suggested Threshold Range

 

 

Recommended concept developed by panel: percentage of median expenditures on food, clothing, and shelter, plus a little more

13,700–15,900

13,700–15,900

NOTE: All thresholds are after-taxes (except that survey respondents to the Gallup Poll and General Social Survey may not have answered the question on the poverty line in after-tax terms). See Chapter 2 (especially Table 2-5) for more information on each threshold.

a "As converted" amounts for Renwick and Bergmann and Schwarz and Volgy are from inspection of their budgets, which gives ratios of "as converted" to "as developed" amounts of 0.74 and 0.82, respectively. These ratios are low because the budgets assume that every family spends the maximum allowance for such items as work expenses. "As converted'' amounts for other thresholds are based on a ratio of 0.84, which is the ratio of "as converted" and "as developed" amounts for one-half median after-tax income of two-adult/two-child families. The "as converted" amount was obtained by subtracting one-half average work-related, child care, and out-of-pocket medical care expenditures as imputed by the panel to the March 1993 CPS for two-adult/two-child families with after-tax income around the median.



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