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Poverty guidelines and thresholds

The 2018 guidelines are in effect as of January 13, 2018.

2018 poverty guidelines for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia

If the household has 1 person in it, the poverty guideline is $12,140 per year.

If the household has 2 people in it, the poverty guideline is $16,460 per year.

If the household has 3 people in it, the poverty guideline is $20,780 per year.

If the household has 4 people in it, the poverty guideline is $25,100 per year.

If the household has 5 people in it, the poverty guideline is $29,420 per year.

If the household has 6 people in it, the poverty guideline is $33,740 per year.

If the household has 7 people in it, the poverty guideline is $38,060 per year.

If the household has 8 people in it, the poverty guideline is $42,380 per year.

If the household has more than 8 people, add $4,320 for each additional person.

Basically,

The more people in a household, the higher the poverty line.

In 2018, that line starts at $12,140 and goes up by $4,320 for every person more.

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What are poverty thresholds?

The poverty thresholds are the original version of the federal poverty measure. They are updated each year by the Census Bureau. The thresholds are used mainly for statistical purposes — for instance, preparing estimates of the number of Americans in poverty each year. (In other words, all official poverty population figures are calculated using the poverty thresholds, not the guidelines.) Poverty thresholds since 1973 (and for selected earlier years) and weighted average poverty thresholds since 1959 are available on the Census Bureau’s Web site. For an example of how the Census Bureau applies the thresholds to a family’s income to determine its poverty status, see “How the Census Bureau Measures Poverty” on the Census Bureau’s web site.

Basically,

Poverty thresholds are set by the Census Bureau and are used to calculate statistics, like estimating how many people live in poverty each year.

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What are poverty guidelines?

The poverty guidelines are the other version of the federal poverty measure. They are issued each year in the Federal Register by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The guidelines are a simplification of the poverty thresholds for use for administrative purposes — for instance, determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs.

Basically,

Guidelines are set by the HHS and used for things like deciding if someone is eligible for financial aid.

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