Here Is the Poverty Rate for Every Quantifiable Group in the United States

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Adults with a high school diploma, no college
> Total group size: 62.3 million people
> Group members living below the poverty line: 7.9 million people
> Group poverty rate: 12.7%

Adults for whom the highest level of education is high school are at a slightly greater than average risk of poverty. Of the 62.3 million Americans who fit into this demographic, 12.7% live in poverty, compared to 11.8% of all Americans.

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Adults with some college
> Total group size: 57.4 million people
> Group members living below the poverty line: 4.8 million people
> Group poverty rate: 8.4%

Income tends to rise with educational attainment, and the risk of poverty tends to fall. Of the 57.4 million Americans with some college education but less than a bachelor’s degree, 8.4% live in poverty.

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Adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher
> Total group size: 79.8 million people
> Group members living below the poverty line: 3.5 million people
> Group poverty rate: 4.4%

The median weekly wage for working Americans with a bachelor’s degree or higher is $1,198, well above the weekly median of $932 for all workers. Adults with a four-year degree are also far less likely to face serious financial hardship — but that does not mean that college-educated adults are immune by any means. There are some 3.5 million Americans age 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher, or 4.4% of the demographics, who live below the poverty line.

Family Structure

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All families
> Total group size: 83.5 million people
> Group members living below the poverty line: 7.5 million people
> Group poverty rate: 9.0%

People living with family members in the United States are less likely than the typical American to live below the poverty line. The poverty rate among the 83.5 million Americans living with their family is just 9.0%, compared to the 11.8% poverty rate across the population as a whole.

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Married-couple families
> Total group size: 62.0 million people
> Group members living below the poverty line: 2.9 million people
> Group poverty rate: 4.7%

Those living in a two-parent household are far less likely than those in other living situations to live on poverty level incomes. Married-couple families have a greater range of options related to childcare and employment than single-parent households. Nationwide, some 4.7% of people living in married-couple families live below the poverty line, less than half the 11.8% poverty rate among all Americans.