Household poverty is measured by the percent of households with incomes below the poverty line as a percent of the total households within a given location.
Poverty status is determined by three criteria: size of family, number of children, and, for 1 and 2-person families, age of the householder.
In 1999, for which the data from the 2000 census applies, a family household of four (2 adults and 2 children) with an annual income of $17,030 was considered to be at the poverty line. In 2008, this number was $21,200.
Poverty is a case of material deprivation mainly characterized by a decline in quality and quantity of life. Households living in poverty do not have the resources to access healthy food and good health care1. Poverty also creates stress, which may lead to chronic health conditions and poor decision-making2. In addition, households living in poverty may be exposed to poor social, economic, and physical environments that lead to poor health3.
1 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Commission to Build a Healthier America. http://www.commissiononhealth.org/Income.aspx
2 California Newsreel, Nationality Minority Consortia, Joint Center Health Policy Institute. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/resources.php?topic_id=2
3 California Newsreel, Nationality Minority Consortia, Joint Center Health Policy Institute. Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? http://www.unnaturalcauses.org/resources.php?topic_id=6