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

Disclaimer: Not all the authors of the research papers and conference presentations are affiliated with BLS. This information is provided for your convenience and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of BLS.

Research Poverty Thresholds

       Overview

Since 1995, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been conducting research on the development of expenditure-based poverty thresholds. The earliest work focused on the development and production of what are referred to as the National Academy of Science (NAS) Thresholds. The BLS production of these thresholds are based on recommendations of the 1995 NAS report Measuring Poverty: A New Approach (Citro and Michael 1995). In 2010, an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) provided a framework for a second set of poverty thresholds as part of a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). The ITWG's recommendations are outlined in the document "Observations from the Interagency Technical Working Group on Developing a Supplemental Poverty Measure" (PDF). This was followed by the creation of a second ITWG focused on the SPM in January 2016. One of the goals of this group was to consider improvements to the SPM. Based on research conducted at the BLS and U.S. Census Bureau since 2010, on September 30, 2020 the SPM ITWG voted on a series of changes to be made. See the following for a summary of the changes to the thresholds and resources with impacts on poverty statistics: https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/supplemental-poverty-measure/library/working-papers/topics/potential-changes.html. To examine the impact on SPM thresholds, included on this website is an additional set of 2019 thresholds (referred to as “revised”) that show the impact of each change relative to the 2019 previously published thresholds. All of the ITWG SPM approved changes are implemented with the production and release of the 2020 SPM poverty statistics in September 2021 (see: https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2021/demo/p60-275.pdf).

A guiding principle included in the SPM documents is that resources and thresholds be consistently defined in the development of the SPM. Individuals are considered poor when the consumer unit or household in which they live do not have resources to meet their needs as defined by the SPM thresholds.

Both the NAS and ITWG documents refer to the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) as the basis for these expenditure-based poverty thresholds. The documents also note that the BLS is responsible for conducting research on expenditure-based poverty thresholds, and for providing these thresholds to the U.S. Census Bureau for use in producing research poverty statistics. The ITWG acknowledged that the BLS had produced the NAS thresholds in the past and expected that the BLS would continue to play this role for the SPM.

Within the BLS, the Division of Price and Index Number Research (DPINR) conducts all expenditure-based poverty threshold research. Support regarding the CE data is provided, as needed, by staff within the Division of Consumer Expenditure Surveys. DPINR research is conducted in consultation and cooperation with U.S. Census Bureau researchers.

Research Poverty Thresholds are presented with a caveat: what appears on this BLS web page does not reflect the rigors of production quality thresholds or related statistics. For such thresholds to be produced, a broader BLS endeavor would need to be created that coordinates the development of improvements in, and the production and dissemination of, expenditure-based SPM thresholds. This effort would include support for: research economists to devise and test suggested improvements in the thresholds and share this research with the economics and statistics profession at large, as well as the general public; IT staff to design, code, test, and provide diagnostic statistics; statistical methods staff to develop measures of data and statistical quality; and economists to analyze the data, produce the thresholds and related statistics, and disseminate the thresholds to the public. Currently, the BLS produces the SPM thresholds using CE Interview data as an experimental research product, since production quality thresholds cannot not be produced within existing resources.

On this web page, recently produced BLS-DPINR Research Poverty Thresholds are presented along with papers and presentations related to these. Much of the research was conducted by the BLS in cooperation with U.S. Census Bureau staff and other academic researchers. Again, as noted above, the thresholds developed and described in the research papers and conference presentations are not produced using standard BLS production procedures

Starting in May 2019, this BLS website is the host for the Research NAS Poverty Thresholds. Through July 2019 these thresholds also appeared on the U.S. Census Bureau website (see https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2017/demo/supplemental-poverty-measure/nas-2017.html). The U.S. Census Bureau website hosts the official measure (https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/poverty.html).

       Background

The official poverty measure of the United States was first developed in the early 1960s and adopted as "official" in 1969. The official poverty threshold was determined to be the dollar value of a minimally adequate diet times three. The multiplier of three was used because 1955 Food Consumption Survey data showed that food expenditures accounted for one-third of after-tax income for an average family with children. An annual threshold of about $3,100 for a family with two adults and two children was set as the standard of need for 1963, and has been fixed in inflation-adjusted terms since then. The U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for publishing official annual poverty thresholds, rates, and other statistics.

The NAS recommendations provide the framework for a definition of the SPM. However, research over the years has suggested modifications to the NAS recommendations; the modifications are discussed in detail in the ITWG recommendations document referenced earlier. The SPM is not intended to replace the official poverty measure, but is to be considered a work in progress, with the expectation that there will be improvements to it over time. Changes in the SPM are to be decided upon in a process led by research economists, survey methodologists, and statisticians within the U.S. Census Bureau in consultation with the BLS, other appropriate data agencies, and outside experts, and will be based on solid analytical evidence.

Following a NAS report recommendation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in January 2016 convened a new SPM ITWG to provide advice on challenges and opportunities brought before it by the U.S. Census Bureau and the BLS concerning data sources, estimation, survey production, and processing activities for development, implementation, publication, and improvement of the SPM (Renwick and Fox 2020). For further information refer to Census’ website Research on resources and resulting poverty statistics can be found on the U.S. Census Bureau website. The new methodology is described below in the section, “New Methodology to Produce the SPM Thresholds.”

Research Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) Thresholds

The methodologies to produce the previously published thresholds and those that incorporate the changes introduced in September 2021 are described in this section. For both, five years of quarterly data from the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Interview Survey (CE) are used. Both start with out-of-pocket expenditures for food, clothing, shelter, and utilities (FCSU) to which a multiplier is applied to account for the expenditures of other basic goods and services, like those for household supplies, personal care, and non-work-related transportation. In previously published SPM thresholds, in-kind benefits were not included resulting in thresholds that were not consistently defined with resources; the U.S. Census Bureau produces a resource measure that includes in-kind benefits. Research at the BLS over the past decade has yielded an imputation process that allows for the inclusion of in-kind benefits to out-of-pocket FCSU expenditures when producing the new thresholds. Specifically, imputed values of the in-kind benefits for Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC), and rental assistance from government sources are added to the FCSU expenditures. This change allows for consistency with the measure of resources available to consumers to meet needs as defied in the thresholds. SPM thresholds are produced for three housing tenure groups: renters, owners with mortgages, and owners without mortgages. Both methodologies also use a consumer price index to convert quarterly values of FCSU to threshold year dollars and a three-parameter equivalence scale to convert FCSU values to reflect those of a two adult-two child reference unit. This is the reference unit for which the BLS produces the SPM thresholds. The U.S. Census Bureau re-applies the three-parameter equivalence scale to produce thresholds for consumer units or households that are comprised of other numbers of adults and children. Finally, an additional adjust is made by the U.S. Census Bureau: the shelter and utilities components of the three housing group thresholds are adjusted to account for differences in costs across geographic areas.

Methodologies to Produce Thresholds

       Methodology Used to Produce Previously Published Thresholds (2005-2019)

The previously published Research SPM thresholds were based on a range of FCSU expenditures centered on the 33rd percentile using data from an estimation sample composed of consumer units with exactly two children and any number of adults. These expenditures were equivalized to the expenditures of a consumer unit with two adults and two children through the use of the three-parameter equivalence scale proposed by Betson (1996). The parameters allow for the differing needs of adults and children and for economies of scale of consumption within the consumer unit. A distinguishing feature of the three-parameter equivalence scale is the adjustment for single parents; no adjustment for single parents was included in the two-parameter scale proposed by the NAS Panel. The three-parameter equivalence scale has been used in the production of the NAS and SPM thresholds in the past (e.g., Garner 2010). Directly below, we present the three-parameter equivalence scale that is applied to the estimation sample for the production of the BLS-DPINR Research SPM Thresholds:

Single adults with children scale = (1 + a + ß(K-1))f

Multiple adults with children scale = (A + ßK)f

where

a = parameter to account for the needs of the first child,

ß= parameter to account for the needs of additional children,

f = parameter to account for economies of scale within the consumer unit,

A = number of adults within the consumer unit, and

K = number of children within the consumer unit

The parameters a, ß, and f were estimated by Betson to fit the literature on the cost of children, and when rounded, were 0.8, 0.5, and 0.7, respectively.

For poverty measurement, the three-parameter equivalence is also used to convert the two-adult two-child SPM thresholds to thresholds for consumer units with differing numbers of adults and children. For consumer units with children, the equivalence scales presented above are used. For one and two adult consumer units, the equivalence scale equals (A)0.5. To produce thresholds for two adults, the scale is set to 1.41.

To produce the reference unit thresholds, the most recent five years of CE Interview data were used, with the earlier years of data updated to threshold year dollars using the All-Items CPI-U. Two adult-two child FCSU expenditures were ranked to identify the point in the distribution upon which to derive the thresholds. The 2010 ITWG Observations document noted that the 33rd percentile of FCSU equivalized expenditures would serve as the basis of the thresholds. However, the 33rd percentile is one point in the distribution, and thus, represents a single consumer unit who could be a renter, owner with a mortgage, or owner without a mortgage. To allow for the production of the three thresholds, a range of expenditures around the 33rd percentile was used, this being the 30-36th percentile of two adult-two child FCSU expenditures. The previously published Research SPM Thresholds for renters, owners with mortgages, and owners without mortgages were produced using the equation below.


SPM ThresholdEh =1.2 * FCSUE - (S + U)E + (S + U)Eh

1.2   = multiplier used to account for expenditures for other basic goods and services, like those for household supplies, personal care, and non-work related transportation.

FCSU, S, and U  refer to the means of the sum of expenditures for food, clothing, shelter and utilities, and the shelter and utilities portions of FCSU, respectively, for the estimation of sample CUs within the 30th to 36th percentile range of FCSU expenditures.

E   refers to consumer units in the estimation sample within the 30th to 36th percentile range of FCSU equivalized expenditures.

h   refers to one of three housing tenure groups:

Owners with mortgages
Owners without mortgages, or
Renters.

       New Methodology to Produce the SPM Thresholds (2019 revised and 2020)

A noted earlier, changes approved by the ITWG SPM on September 30, 2020 underlie the new methodology used to produce the SPM Thresholds published in September 2021. The decision to implement these changes was based on work from Fox and Garner (2018), Garner et al. (2019), and Garner (2020). The following changes go into effect with the release of the 2020 thresholds.

  1. The base of thresholds has been moved from the FCSU and S+U averages within the 30th-36th FCSU expenditure percentile range to 83 percent of the averages inherent within the 47th-53rd FCSU percentile range.

  2. The estimation sample has been expanded from consumer units with exactly two children to consumer units with any number of children.

  3. The CE Interview data are lagged by one year.

  4. Imputed in-kind benefits from LIHEAP, NSLP, WIC, and rental assistance from government sources are added to the thresholds.

  5. Telephone service expenditures are no longer geographically adjusted; in other words, they are no longer included with other utilities but are instead included along with food and clothing.

  6. Home internet service expenditures have been added to the commodities.

  7. To adjust the five years of CE Interview data to threshold year dollars, the All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (All Items CPI-U) has been replaced by a composite “Food, Clothing, Shelter, Utilities, and telephone and internet service” price index; this is referred to as the FCSUti CPI-U.

As with the previously published SPM thresholds, five years of data are used to produce the thresholds under the new revised methodology. However, a decision was made by the ITW SPM to lag the CE data by one year. The new thresholds for 2020 are based on data collected in the CE Interview from 2015 quarter two through 2020 quarter one to represent the years 2015 through 2019. The reference period for each quarter is the previous three months. Lagging the expenditure data is preferred since the methods to impute the in-kind benefits for LIHEAP, NSLP, and WIC are based on data from the Current Population Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). CPS ASEC data for the threshold year, let’s say 2020, are not released until after the 2020 SPM thresholds are needed to produce the U.S. Census Bureau poverty report.

The price index used to adjust quarterly CE expenditures to threshold year dollars is referred to as the FCSUti CPI-U. The FCSUti index is processed as an annual average for the urban population. Upper-level index estimation for the FCSUti index is comparable to the CPI-U as a modified Laspeyres formula. See the Chart below for the FCSUti CPU-U indexes relative to the All-Items CPI-U indexes; the All-Items indexes were used in the production of previously published SPM thresholds.

Annual Average All CPI-U and FCSUit CPI-U: 2014-2020
[Chart data]

Source: Indexes produced by Josh Klick within the Division of Consumer Prices and Price Indexes, BLS for the SPM thresholds.

Incorporating the seven changes, the following formula is used to produce the thresholds:


SPMEh = 0.83 * (1.2 * FCSUtiE - SUE, w/o telephone + SUEh, w/o telephone)

with subscripts defined as earlier. With telephone separate from household utilities and with the addition of internet, we now refer to the base of the thresholds as FCSUti. Also, rather than the 30-36th percentile, the revised methodology uses the 47th to 53rd percentile range; this represents the median. The percentage of the median chosen, 83 percent, is based on two factors: (1) the NAS guideline that a percentage of the median be used to produce the poverty threshold; and (2) 83 percent of the median, estimated when all of the other changes are implemented to produce a revised 2019 set of thresholds, results in an overall poverty rate that is closest to the previously published poverty rate for 2019 (Burns and Fox, 2021).

Testing for Statistical Differences

To test for a significant change in the threshold from the previous year, or to make a comparison between thresholds within a year, one would conduct a Z-test. The test statistics are specified below, for each type of comparison. First, to test for the statistical difference in thresholds from one year to the next (e.g., SPM renter thresholds in 2020 as compared to 2019 revised), simply divide the difference in the thresholds for time t and t-1 by the standard error of the year-to-year difference.


Z Renters, t , t-1 = (SPM Renters, t - SPM Renters , t-1 ) / Standard error Renters, t, t-1


For a statistical comparison of thresholds within year t (e.g., renter thresholds compared to owner without mortgage thresholds), simply divide the difference in the two thresholds within the year by the standard error of the difference between the two housing tenure groups that is listed for the current threshold year.

Z Renters compared to Owners without mortgages , t =

(SPM Renters, t - SPM Owner without mortgages , t ) / Standard error Renters compared to Owners without mortgages, t


Research SPM Thresholds for 2009-2010 were first posted to the BLS website in table format in November 2011. Thresholds for 2005-2008 were added shortly thereafter. Ever since, the time series has been supplemented by an additional year's threshold each year after the release of CE public use data.

The BLS-DPINR Research SPM Thresholds and associated standard errors can be found through the links below. Also available are the expenditure shares of each of the components of the thresholds. Please note that use of all of the significant digits presented in the spreadsheets are necessary for inclusion in calculations; precision will affect the resulting dollar value.

  • Research SPM Thresholds with Housing Tenure Shares (XLSX)
  • Standard Errors (XLSX)
  • Expenditure Shares (XLSX)

The weighted share distribution of consumer units by housing tenure for the SPM thresholds for each year is included in the "BLS-DPINR Research SPM Thresholds with Housing Tenure Shares" file. This is included to facilitate the calculation of a weighted average of the three SPM thresholds for users who are interested in FCSU threshold that does not account for housing tenure. Note: The ITWG included the recommendation for the production of three housing tenure thresholds, not a single threshold. A weighted average of a particular component of the SPM thresholds (i.e., food, clothing, shelter, utilities) can be computed using the housing tenure distributional weights along with the housing tenure specific component from the "Expenditure Shares" file below. For example, a weighted average of Shelter across the three housing tenure groups would be calculated as follows:


S W = (P Owners with mortgages * S Owners with mortgages * SPM Owners with mortgages)

+(P Owners without mortgages * S Owners without mortgages * SPM Owners without mortgages)

+(P Renters * S Renters * SPM Renters)


where

S W = weighted average of shelter share in SPM threshold

P = weighted share distribution of consumer units by housing tenure

S = shelter component share of SPM threshold for housing group

SPM = SPM threshold for housing group


Research Papers

  • Improvements to Supplemental Poverty Measure for 2021 (PDF)
    U.S. Census Bureau SEHSD Working Paper #2021-17. Kalee Burns, U.S. Census Bureau. Liana E. Fox, U.S. Census Bureau. September 2021.
  • Choices in Defining and Estimating Poverty Thresholds: Focus on the U.S. Supplemental Poverty Measure (PDF)
    Division of Price and Number Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Juan D. Munoz, Bureau of Labor Statistics. March 15, 2021.
  • Alternative Poverty Measurement for the U.S.: Focus on Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds (PDF)
    Bureau of Labor Statistics Working Papers 510. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. September, 2018.
  • Controlling for Prices before Estimating SPM Thresholds and the Impact on SPM Poverty Statistics (PDF)
    Society of Government Economists. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Juan D. Munoz, Bureau of Labor Statistics. April 19, 2018.
  • Varying Economies of Scale in Housing: The Impact on Poverty Statistics (PDF)
    Society for the Study of Economic Inequality. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau. February 15, 2017.
  • Changing the Housing Share of Poverty Thresholds for the Supplemental Poverty Measure: Does Consumer Unit Size Matter? (PDF)
    Southern Economics Association. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau. November 19, 2016.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds and Noncash Benefits (PDF)
    The Supplemental Poverty Measure Workshop, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, April 26, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Consistency in Supplemental Poverty Measurement: Adding Imputed In-Kind Benefits to Thresholds and Impact on Poverty Rates for the United States (PDF)
    Joint Statistical Meetings, Seattle, WA, August 9, 2015. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measurement: Adding Imputed In-Kind Benefits to Thresholds and Impact on Poverty Rates for the United States (PDF)
    Sixth ECINEQ Meeting, July 6, 2015. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measure Under Alternate Treatments of Medical Out-of-Pocket Expenditures (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. December 30, 2013.
  • Maintaining Consumption Levels over Economic Fluctuations and the Impact on Consumption vs. Spending-Based SPM Thresholds (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. December 29, 2012.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measure: A Joint Project between the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (PDF)
    Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. June 8, 2012.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing School Lunch and WIC Benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey Using Current Population Survey (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Charles Hokayem, Census Bureau. July 2012.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing Noncash Benefits to the Consumer Expenditure Survey Using Current Population Survey-Parts I and II (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Charles Hokayem, Census Bureau. September 2011.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measure: Examining the Incidence and Depth of Poverty in the U.S. Taking Account of Taxes and Transfers (PDF)
    Kathleen Short, Census Bureau. June 2011.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Laying the Foundation (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2010.
  • Setting and Updating Modern Poverty Thresholds (PDF)
    BLS Working Papers. March 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. David Betson, University of Notre Dame.
  • Housing and Poverty Thresholds: Different Potions for Different Notions (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. David Betson, University of Notre Dame. 2010.
  • Note on Standard Errors and Other Relevant Statistics of Experimental Poverty Thresholds Produced at the Bureau of Labor Statistics: 2006 to 2008 (PDF)
    BLS Working Papers. March 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Identifying the Poor: Poverty Measurement for the U.S. from 1996 to 2005 (PDF)
    The Review of income and wealth, Volume 56, Issue 2, pages 237-258, June 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • A Note on the Movement in Median FCSU Expenditures from 2006 to 2007 (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2009.
  • Reconciling User Costs and Rental Equivalence: Evidence from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner and Randal Verbrugge, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2008.
  • Creating a Consistent Poverty Measure over Time Using NAS Procedures: 1996-2005 (PDF)
    BLS Working Papers. April 2008.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Comparing Approaches to Value Owner-Occupied Housing Using U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey Data (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Uri Kogan, Northwestern University.
  • What Do We Know About the Value of Owner Occupied Housing Services? Rental Equivalence and Other Approaches (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Uri Kogan, Northwestern University.
  • Developing a New Poverty Line for the USA: Are There Lessons for India? (PDF)
    BLS Working Papers. March 2005.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Personal Assessments of Minimum Income and Expenses: What Do They Tell Us about 'Minimum Living' Thresholds and Equivalence Scales? (PDF)
    BLS Working Papers. March 2005.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • The Role of Housing in Developing Poverty Thresholds 1993-2003 (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2005.
  • Experimental poverty measures: accounting for medical expenditures (PDF)
    Monthly Labor Review, Volume 125, No. 8. August 2002.
    Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Owner-Occupied Shelter in Experimental Poverty Measures (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. 2001.
  • Report on Experimental Poverty Measures 1990 to 1997 (PDF)
    Kathleen S. Short and John Iceland, Census Bureau. Richard Bavier, Office of Management and Budget. Thesia I. Garner and Patricia Rozaklis, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Donald J. Hernandez, SUNY at Albany. 2001.
  • Redefining Poverty Measurement in the U.S.: Examining the Impact on Inequality and Poverty (PDF)
    25th Conference of The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cambridge, England 23 - 29 August 1998.
  • Experimental poverty measure for the 1990s (PDF)
    Monthly Labor Review, Volume 121, No. 3. March 1998.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Stephanie Shipp, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Charles Nelson, Census Bureau. Geoffrey Paulin, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Developing Poverty Thresholds Using Experimental Data (PDF)
    Joint Statistical Meetings, Invited Session 6: “Redefining Poverty in the United States.” David Johnson, Stephanie Shipp, and Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Anaheim, CA, August 1997.
  • An experimental Consumer Price Index for the poor (PDF)
    Monthly Labor Review, Volume 119, No. 9. September 1996.
    Thesia I. Garner, David S. Johnson, and Mary F. Kokoski, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • "Is Everything Relative?" The Role of Equivalence Scales in Poverty Measurement (PDF)
    David M. Betson, University of Notre Dame.

Conference Presentations

  • Proposed Changes to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (PDF)
    Southern Economic Association. Trudi Renwick (U.S.Census Bureau) and Thesia I. Garner (Bureau of Labor Statistics). November 23, 2020.
  • Changes under Consideration for 2021: Thresholds (Revised) (PDF)
    Brookings Expert Meeting. Thesia I. Garner (Bureau of Labor Statistics). October 14, 2020
  • Changes to be Made for 2021: SPM Thresholds (PDF)
    Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (AAPAM) Annual Conference. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. November 13, 2020.
  • Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Changes under Consideration for 2021: Thresholds (PDF)
    Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG). Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. September 30, 2020.
  • Changes under Consideration for 2021: Thresholds (PDF)
    Brookings Expert Meeting. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. May 28, 2020.
  • Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Evaluating Alternative Measures of Poverty: Status Report (PDF)
    Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG). Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. March 13, 2020.
  • Moving to the Median and Expanding the Estimation Sample: The Case for Changing the Expenditures Underlying SPM Thresholds (PDF)
    Southern Economics Association. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Liana Fox, U.S. Census Bureau. November 20, 2018.
  • Controlling for Prices before Estimating SPM Thresholds and the Impact on SPM Poverty Statistics (PDF)
    Society of Government Economists. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Juan D Munoz Henao, Bureau of Labor Statistics. April 20, 2018.
  • Moving to the Median and Expanding the Estimation Sample: The Case for Changing the Expenditures Underlying SPM Thresholds (PDF)
    Statistics FCSM 2018 Research and Policy Conference. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Liana Fox, U.S. Census Bureau. March 7-9, 2018.
  • Varying the Economies of Scale in Housing: Impact on Supplemental Poverty Measure Statistics (PDF)
    Seventh Meeting of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, New York, NY. Jul. 17-19, 2017.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Alternative Poverty Measurement for the U.S.: Focus on Supplemental Poverty Thresholds (PDF)
    Western Economic Association 13th International Conference, Santiago, Chile. Jan. 3-6, 2017.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Changing the Housing Share of Poverty Thresholds for the Supplemental Poverty Measure: Does Consumer Unit Size Matter? (PDF)
    Southern Economics Association. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau. November 19, 2016.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measurement (SPM) Thresholds and a Missing Data Problem (PDF)
    6th Annual BLS-Census Workshop on Empirical Research using BLS-Census data, Washington, DC, June 6, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • SPM Thresholds: Imputing Subsidies to the Consumer Expenditure Survey for Poverty Measurement (PDF)
    Society of Government Economists Annual Conference, Washington, DC, May 13, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds and Noncash Benefits (PDF)
    The Supplemental Poverty Measure Workshop, Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, April 26, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Measuring Medical Expenses: MOOP in Thresholds vs. MOOP Subtractions (PDF)
    Measuring Poverty in the 21st Century Conference Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality, Stanford, CA, March 11, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The Rationale for the Current Poverty Threshold (PDF)
    Measuring Poverty in the 21st Century Conference Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality, Stanford, CA, March 11, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Imputing In-Kind Government Transfers from CPS Public Use Data to CE (PDF)
    Eastern Economic Association Annual Meetings, Washington, DC, February 26, 2016. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measurement: Adding Imputed In-Kind Benefits to Thresholds and Impact on Poverty Rates for the United States (PDF)
    Joint Statistical Meetings, Seattle, WA, August 9, 2015.Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measurement Thresholds: Research at the BLS (PDF)
    APDU Annual Conference, Rosslyn, VA. Sep. 17, 2014.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • The Supplemental Poverty Measure Under Alternate Treatments of Medical Out-of-Pocket Expenditures (PDF)
    Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Meetings, Philadelphia, PA. Jan. 4, 2014.
    Thesia I. Garner and Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM): Threshold Issues (PDF)
    Brookings/Census Bureau Meetings on Improved Poverty Measurement, Washington, D.C. Nov. 7, 2011.
    Thesia I. Garner and Marisa Gudrais, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Laying the Foundation (PDF)
    Allied Social Science Association Annual Meetings, Denver, CO. Jan. 8, 2011.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Moving to a Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM): Research on Thresholds for 2008 (PDF)
    Southern Economics Association Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. Nov 10, 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Housing and Poverty Thresholds: Different Potions for Different Notions (PDF)
    Midwestern Economics Association Annual Meeting, Evanston, IL. Mar 20, 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. David Betson, University of Notre Dame.
  • Setting and Updating Modern Poverty Thresholds (PDF)
    Annual Meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA), Atlanta, GA. Jan 3, 2010.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. David Betson, University of Notre Dame.
  • Poverty Threshold Alternatives/Choices (PDF 1.6 MB)
    Brookings/Census Bureau Conference on Improved Poverty Measurement. Oct 20, 2009.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • National Academy of Sciences (NAS)-Based Poverty Thresholds: Details of Alternatives and Choices in Specification (PDF)
    Joint Statistical Meetings, Washington, DC. Aug 3, 2009.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Reconciling User Costs and Rental Equivalence: Evidence from the US Consumer Expenditure Survey (PDF)
    Annual Meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations, San Francisco, CA. Jan 4, 2009.
    Thesia I. Garner and Randal Verbrugge, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Accounting for Housing Services in Consumption and Income (PDF)
    ASSA-SGE Annual Meetings, New Orleans, LA. Jan 6, 2008.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sylvester Young, International Labour Organization.
  • Comparing Approaches to Value Owner-Occupied Housing Using U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey Data (PDF)
    ASSA-SGE Annual Meetings, Chicago, IL. Jan 7, 2007.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Uri Kogan, Northwestern University.
  • What Do We Know About the Value of Owner-occupied Housing Services? Rental Equivalence and Other Approaches (PDF)
    Annual Meeting of the Southern Economics Association, Charleston, SC. Nov 18, 2006.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Uri Kogan, Northwestern University.
  • The Role of Housing in Poverty Thresholds: 1993-2003 (PDF)
    Annual Meeting of the Southern Economics Association, Washington, DC. Nov 19, 2005.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Developing Poverty Thresholds (PDF)
    JSM, Social Statistics Section, Minneapolis, MN. Aug 10, 2005.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Incorporating the Value of Owner-Occupied Housing in Poverty Measurement (PDF)
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. 2004.
  • Owner-Occupied Shelter in Experimental Poverty Measurement with a ?Look? at Inequality and Poverty (PDF)
    Southern Economics Association Conference, Tampa, FL. Nov 18, 2001.
    Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau.
  • Redefining Poverty Measurement in the U.S.: Examining the Impact on Inequality and Poverty (PDF)
    25th Conference of The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. Kathleen S. Short, Census Bureau. Thesia I. Garner, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Cambridge, England 23 - 29 August 1998.

 

Last Modified Date: September 3, 2021