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Poverty: 2017 and 2018

November 14, 2019
By Craig Benson and Alemayehu Bishaw

U.S. Census Bureau Brief Using Data from the 2017 and 2018 American Community Survey

This brief uses the 2017 and 2018 American Community Survey (ACS) 1-year estimates to analyze poverty rates for 2018, as well as the changes in poverty from 2017 for the nation, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the most populous metropolitan areas. This brief also discusses the distribution of people by income-to-poverty ratio.

In 2018, 13.1 percent of the U.S. population had income below the poverty level, a decline from 13.4 percent in 2017. This is the fifth consecutive annual decline in the ACS national poverty rate.

The poverty rate declined in 14 states and Puerto Rico between 2017 and 2018. In three of those states (Arizona, Illinois, and New York), poverty declined for a fourth consecutive year. Four states (California, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina) had declining poverty rates for a fifth year in a row. The poverty rate increased in only one state, Connecticut.