Poverty: Poverty status is defined by family; either everyone in the family is in poverty or no one in the family is in poverty. The characteristics of the family used to determine the poverty threshold are: number of people, number of related children under 18, and whether or not the primary householder is over age 65. Family income is then compared to the poverty threshold; in 2015, the poverty threshold for a family of four was an annual income of approximately $24,036.
From the U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE).
The U.S. Census Bureau, with support from other Federal agencies, created the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program to provide more current estimates of selected income and poverty statistics than those from the most recent decennial census.
These estimates combine data from administrative records, intercensal population estimates, and the decennial census, with direct estimates from the American Community Survey. The Census Bureau believes these model-based single-year estimates are more reflective of current conditions than multi-year survey estimates.
Beginning with the SAIPE program's estimates for 2005, SAIPE used data from the American Community Survey (ACS) in the estimation procedure; prior years used data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplements of the Current Population Survey. The Census Bureau states that it is possible to compare county-level poverty child poverty data in the 2006-2015 time period, but not with earlier years due to changes in the estimation methodology.
Updated December 2016 with data from December 2016.