A range of factors affect the likelihood of living in poverty — the poverty threshold in the United States was defined in 2018 as a four-person household earning $25,000 or less. Where and when a person was born, their race, their education level and that of their parents, their age and health, the composition of their family, and the status of their relationship are all variables determining poverty status in the United States.
Perhaps because poverty is due in part to circumstances beyond our control and in part to personal choices and behaviors, it seems that no group of Americans is completely immune to poverty.
24/7 Wall St. analyzed government poverty statistics for 28 selected population groups from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). The list is grouped so each item lends context to the next. We compared men and women, Hispanic Americans of all races, black Americans, and white Americans, as well as full-time, part-time, and unemployed individuals (for more on this point, see the cities where having a job doesn’t keep you out of poverty).
We also compared poverty rates for people living in the South, Midwest, West, and Northeast parts of the United States. (For more on regional differences, here are America’s richest and poorest states).
It is important to note that poverty levels for certain groups are not broken down by the CPS. For example, American Indian and Alaskan Natives, whose poverty rate has been pegged by some organizations as well over 20%, are not on this list.