of poor people as the current measure, but they are not all the same people. Under the proposed measure, 7.4 million people are moved out of poverty, and 7.4 million are moved into poverty. That is, the proposed measure has significant effects on the composition of the poor population, changing about 20 percent of that population. Table 1-6 shows these changes for groups categorized by age, race, ethnicity, receipt of cash welfare, work status, health insurance status, and region of residence. This table also shows the poverty rates for each group under the current and proposed measures.

The greatest effect of the proposed measure is to decrease the percentage

TABLE 1-6 Poverty Statistics, 1992: Current Measure and Proposed Measure, Keeping the Overall Poverty Rate Constant

Population Group

Percent of Total Population

Percent of Poor Population

Poverty Rate for Population Group (%)

 

 

Current Measure

Proposed Measure

Current Measure

Proposed Measure

Age

Children under 18

26.3

39.6

39.2

21.9

21.7

Adults 18–64

61.5

49.6

51.8

11.7

12.2

Adults 65 and older

12.2

10.8

9.0

12.9

10.8

Race

White

83.6

66.8

69.3

11.6

12.0

Black

12.5

28.6

25.7

33.2

29.8

Other

3.9

4.6

5.1

17.4

19.1

Ethnicity

Hispanic

8.9

18.1

20.9

29.4

34.0

Non-Hispanic

91.1

81.9

79.1

13.1

12.6

Welfare Status of Family

Receiving cash welfare

9.9

40.4

29.9

59.4

44.0

Not receiving welfare

90.1

59.6

70.1

9.6

11.3

Work Status of Family

One or more workers

81.1

50.8

58.9

9.1

10.6

No workers

18.9

49.2

41.1

37.9

31.7

Health Insurance Status of Family

No health insurance

13.7

30.1

35.7

32.0

37.9

Some health insurance

86.3

69.9

64.3

11.8

10.8

Region of Residence

Northeast

20.0

16.9

18.9

12.3

13.8

Midwest

24.0

21.7

20.2

13.1

12.2

South

34.4

40.0

36.4

16.9

15.4

West

21.6

21.4

24.5

14.4

16.5

NOTE: In the first, second, and third columns, the percentages for the categories within each characteristic (age, race, etc.) add to 100; in the last two columns, the percentages (rates) apply to each category individually. See text for thresholds used.



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