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Bureau of Labor Statistics > Price and Index Number Research > Price research data > Research Poverty Thresholds

Research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), 2020

Measure Threshold amount



SPM Owners with mortgages


SPM Owners without mortgages


SPM Renters


NOTE: Research SPM Thresholds are produced in the Division of Price and Index Number Research (DPINR), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Shelter expenditures include those for mortgage principal. Thresholds and statistics for 2019 revised and 2020 are based on Food, Clothing, Shelter, Utilities, Internet, and Telephone (FCSUit) and include in-kind benefits for LIHEAP, NSLP, WIC, and rental assistance; rental assistance is calculated for Consumer Units in public housing, rental units subsided with financial assistance, rent-controlled rental units, and units receiving rent as pay. For the 2019 revised and 2020 thresholds, telephone is no longer considered part of utilities but is instead added to the SPM thresholds in the same way as food and clothing. Owner shelter expenditures include those for mortgage principal payments. 

Source: The thresholds, shares, and means were produced by Juan D. Munoz under the guidance of Thesia I. Garner. Munoz and Garner work in the Division of Price and Index Number Research, BLS. These thresholds and statistics are produced for research purposes only using the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey. The thresholds are not BLS production quality. The revised 2019 and new 2020 thresholds are final as of July 28th, 2021 and incorporate all the changes approved September 30, 2020 by the Interagency Technical Working Group on the SPM. For methodological details and related research regarding the SPM thresholds, see <>.


Last Modified Date: September 3, 2021