Special Report

The Income a Family Really Needs to Avoid Poverty in Every State


To determine the income required for a family of two adults, no children, to meet basic needs in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed March 2018 budget data from the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator. The budget includes items such a family would need in order to maintain a modest yet adequate standard of living. Income estimates include expenses related to housing, food, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities, and are aggregated from the county to the state level using population data from the EPI. Data was adjusted for inflation from 2017 dollars to 2019 dollars using CPI data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data on median family income and the percentage of families earning $10,000 or less came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. All data are for the most recent year available.

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