By the Numbers: Income and Poverty, 2015

Key numbers from today’s new Census reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015. All dollar values are adjusted for inflation (2015 dollars).


Poverty declined in 2015 by all measures; government programs, once again, kept millions above the poverty line:

“The official poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, as annual earnings and household incomes rose significantly for the first time since 2007. Since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau has also released an alternative to its official poverty measure known as the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). As shown in Figure A, the SPM has consistently indicated that poverty in America is more extensive than the official poverty measure reports. The good news is that the SPM data do show a similar decline in poverty last year to that reported in the official poverty measure. This year’s SPM release reported that in 2015, 45.7 million people were in poverty—roughly 14.3 percent of Americans. Under the “official” poverty measure, 43.5 million people were in poverty, or 13.7 percent of all Americans.”