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ERIC Number: ED141430
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov-16
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Using a Poverty Definition Based on Household Income. The Measure of Poverty, Technical Paper X.
McNeil, Jack; And Others
This technical report describes the impact that a definition of poverty based on the household unit, instead of on the currently used family unit, would have on the status of unrelated individuals and on the status of those family members who live in a household in which unrelated individuals are present. This information is based on a special tabulation of the March 1975 Current Population file which shows the poverty status of unrelated individuals based on (1) the current official definition of poverty, and (2) a definition of poverty in which a household concept was used in place of the family concept. For those unrelated individuals who live with a family, the tabulations also show the official poverty status of the family. It is shown that the change to a household-based concept would not affect the poverty status of persons who live alone or persons who live only with relatives, but it would affect the poverty count among unrelated individuals who do not live alone and among family members who live in a residence in which unrelated individuals are present. A definite statement on the relative merits of the household over the familial concept cannot yet be made. The issue depends upon the economic relationship between or among household members. The addition of questions to the Current Population Survey which would allow tabulation of data for non-familial spending units is a possible solution. The spending unit concept is subject to some ambiguity, however, because persons may share some basic expenses and not others. In the absence of spending unit information, it would be useful to periodically publish poverty counts based on the household concept. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Definitions, Family Characteristics, Family Structure, Income, Low Income, Low Income Groups, Poverty
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 443D-South Portal Building, Washington, D.C. 20201
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, DC. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Note: For related documents, see UD 016 918-929 and UD 017 087; Best copy available