Poverty Thresholds, Definition(s) of

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“The poverty thresholds (also called “poverty lines”) are income levels that the Census Bureau compares to actual family income to determine poverty status. Everyone with family income below the poverty line is considered poor. The current, official thresholds are referred to as the “Orshansky thresholds” after the government economist Mollie Orshansky who derived them years ago” (Bernstein & Sherman, p.3).

Glossary Source: 

Bernstein, J. & Sherman, A. (2006). Poor measurement: New census report on measuring poverty raises concerns: A joint report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and The Economic Policy Institute. Retrieved on May 16, 2006 from http://www.cbpp.org/3-28-06pov.htm.