Family Poverty Status and Family Poverty Level Variables

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort

Family Poverty Status and Family Poverty Level Variables

Introduction

The Family Poverty Status variable is calculated using a combination of reported family income, the number of family members in the respondent's household, and the national Poverty Income Guidelines, which are updated yearly by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Poverty Income Guidelines are based on family size; the poverty guidelines set a base amount for smallest family size of one person and increases by a standard amount for each additional family member living in the household.

An NLSY79 respondent is determined to be in poverty if total net family income for the last calendar year is below the Poverty Income Guidelines given their family size.

Poverty Income Guideline Tables

The national Poverty Income Guidelines used in creating the family poverty status variable are shown below.

Questions about the use of the poverty guidelines in one of the outlying jurisdictions (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the North Marianas, and Palau) by a Federal program serving any of those jurisdictions should be referred to the Federal office responsible for the individual program involved.

Table 1. Poverty Income Guidelines by NLSY79 Survey Year

Survey Year Poverty Income Guidelines Year First Person Each Additional Person Four-person Family
1979 1978 $3,140 $1,020 $6,200
1980 1979 $3,400 $1,100 $6,700
1981 1980 $3,790 $1,220 $7,450
1982 1981 $4,310 $1,380 $8,450
1983 1982 $4,680 $1,540 $9,300
1984 1983 $4,860 $1,680 $9,900
1985 1984 $4,980 $1,740 $10,200
1986 1985 $5,250 $1,800 $10,650
1987 1986 $5,360 $1,880 $11,000
1988 1987 $5,500 $1,900 $11,200
1989 1988 $5,770 $1,960 $11,650
1990 1989 $5,980 $2,040 $12,100
1991 1990 $6,280 $2,140 $12,700
1992 1991 $6,620 $2,260 $13,400
1993 1992 $6,810 $2,380 $13,950
1994 1993 $6,970 $2,460 $14,350
1996 1995 $7,470 $2,560 $15,150
1998 1997 $7,890 $2,720 $16,050
2000 1999 $8,240 $2,820 $16,700
2002 2001 $8,590 $3,020 $17,650
2004 2003 $8,980 $3,140 $18,400
2006 2005 $9,570 $3,260 $19,350
2008 2007 $10,210 $3,480 $20,650
2010 2009 $10,830 $3,740 $22,050
2012 2011 $10,890 $3,820 $22,350

Users interested in information on the variables created using the old poverty guideline standards should click here for a PDF.