TABLE 2-2 Comparison of Poverty Thresholds for a Two-Adult/Two-Child Family Using Two Multiplier Approaches, Selected Years, in Constant 1992 Dollars

Year

Official Thresholda

Housing Multiplier Threshold (45th or 50th percentile)b

Housing and Food Multiplier Thresholdc

 

 

 

25th percentile

35th percentile

Dollar Amount

1977

14,228

20,781

N.A.

N.A.

1980

14,228

21,331

N.A.

N.A.

1982

14,228

21,205

N.A.

N.A.

1985

14,228

20,758

N.A.

N.A.

1988

14,228

22,154

N.A.

N.A.

1989

14,228

21,815

20,267

21,790

1992

14,228

21,640

N.A.

N.A.

Percent of Official Threshold

1977

100.0

146.1

N.A.

N.A.

1980

100.0

149.9

N.A.

N.A.

1982

100.0

149.0

N.A.

N.A.

1985

100.0

145.9

N.A.

N.A.

1988

100.0

155.7

N.A.

N.A.

1989

100.0

153.3

142.4

153.1

1992

100.0

152.1

N.A.

N.A.

a The official 1992 threshold for a two-adult/two-child family (which, in constant 1992 dollars, applies to all earlier years) from Bureau of the Census (1993c: Table A).

b The housing multiplier is based on obtaining the nationwide HUD fair market rent value for two-bedroom rental units (calculated for such units occupied by recent movers and having other specified characteristics) and applying a multiplier (the inverse of the percent of net countable income that subsidized tenants are expected to contribute toward rent). For 1977-1982, fair market rents were set at the 50th percentile of the distribution of all two-bedroom units including subsidized units and new construction; for subsequent years, fair market rents were set at the 45th percentile of the distribution of two-bedroom units excluding subsidized units and new construction. For 1977-1980, the multiplier was 4.0 (inverse of 25%); for 1982, the multiplier was 3.85 (inverse of 26%, reflecting a phase-in to 30%); for 1985 and later, the multiplier was 3.33 (inverse of 30%). The estimated thresholds for years 1977-1988 are from Ruggles (1990: Tables A.3, A.5); for 1989 and 1992 derived by using Ruggles' method with fair market rent(s) provided by HUD; all values were converted to 1992 dollars using the CPI-U (from Bureau of the Census, 1993c: Table A-2).

c The housing and food multiplier was originally developed by Weinberg and Lamas (1993:32-35) by calculating the value for the 25th or 35th percentile of the distribution of all nonsubsidized rental units by region and type of place (central city, suburb, nonmetropolitan) from the American Housing Survey, adding the value of the Thrifty Food Plan for a three-person family, and applying a multiplier of 2.0. The estimated thresholds for 1989 were calculated by taking the simple average of the Weinberg and Lamas region-place-specific thresholds times 1.282 (the ratio of the weighted average four-person official threshold to the weighted average three-person official threshold) to convert to four-person thresholds; all values were converted to 1992 dollars using the CPI-U.



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