TABLE 5-8 Poverty Rates by Population Group Under the Current and Proposed Measures, 1992

 

Poverty Rate (%)

Percentage Point Change—Standardizeda with Proposed Measure

 

 

Proposed Measure    

Population Group

Current Measure

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

Total population

14.52

18.12

19.02

+3.60

+4.50

Age

Children under 18

21.87

26.44

26.35

3.03

2.97

Adults 65 and over

12.90

14.56

18.00

1.89

5.74

Race and Ethnicity

White

11.60

15.26

16.14

4.58

5.68

Black

33.15

35.62

36.76

1.08

1.58

Hispanicb

29.43

40.98

40.88

5.70

5.65

Family Size

One person

21.75

19.09

23.83

-1.78

1.39

Two persons

9.91

13.45

15.10

5.18

7.60

Three or four persons

11.50

16.52

16.81

6.34

6.70

Five or more persons

20.98

26.19

24.74

3.61

2.60

Welfare or Work Status

Receiving AFDC or SSI

59.39

53.40

55.12

-1.46

-1.04

One or more workers

9.09

13.66

14.11

7.30

8.02

Without Health Insurance

31.95

44.87

46.03

5.87

6.40

Region of Residence

Northeast

12.29

17.09

18.19

5.67

6.97

Midwest

13.10

15.43

16.27

2.58

3.51

South

16.89

19.37

20.29

2.13

2.92

West

14.39

20.06

20.83

5.72

6.50

NOTE: Both alternatives use a two-adult/two-child poverty threshold of $14,800; for alternative 1 the scale economy factor is 0.75; for alternative 2 it is 0.65. The poverty rates are for individuals: They are determined on the basis of comparing the income of their family (or one's own income if an unrelated individual) to the appropriate threshold.

a See text for derivation of standardized percentage point changes.

b Hispanics may be of any race.

alternative 1. In other words, the equivalence scale has more of an effect on the elderly than on other groups. This finding also holds for one-person families and members of two-person families, for which, in comparison with other groups, alternative 2 makes more of a difference in their poverty rates than does alternative 1. Indeed, the results for these groups are not unrelated, as a very high proportion of the elderly are in one- and two-person families.11

11  

In 1992, 31 percent of the elderly lived alone (compared with 12 percent of all people age 15 and older); another 54 percent lived with a spouse (Bureau of the Census, 1993d: Table 71). Note that the category of one-person ''families" or unrelated individuals includes those living with other unrelated individuals in a larger household, as well as those living alone.



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