University of Illinois Urbana‑Champaign

Poverty Levels: Children Age 5 and Under Living at Various Federal Poverty Levels (FPLs)

Federal poverty levels (FPLs) are often used to determine financial eligibility for federal, state, and local government programs

steps in upward direction

The Census Bureau uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered to be living in poverty. The poverty thresholds are used for statistical purposes.

The poverty guidelines are another version of the federal poverty measure. Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issues the poverty guidelines, often referred to as federal poverty levels (FPLs).

Source of data: IECAM demographers prepare poverty estimates based on the Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program and the American Community Survey, 5-year estimates.