2020 official poverty income guidelines

Poverty is measured in the United States by comparing a person’s or family’s income to a set poverty threshold or minimum amount of income needed to cover basic needs.

The U.S. Census Bureau determines poverty status by using an official poverty measure that compares pre-tax cash income against a threshold that is set at three times the cost of a minimum food diet in 1963 and adjusted for family size.

The bureau defines a family as a group of two people or more related by birth, marriage or adoption and residing together.


US Department of Health & Human Services, 2020 Poverty Guidelines