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Characteristics of the Population Below the Poverty Level: 1975

Report Number P60-106


In processing the data collected in the March 1976 Current Population Survey, the Bureau of the Census utilized a new computer processing system designed to take maximum advantage of the Bureau's expanded computer capabilities. The revised system also incorporates many improvements in the procedures used to process the data. A detailed discussion of these improvements and the subsequent revisions to the 1974 poverty data (for comparability with 1975 data) is provided in a later section, entitled "Revised 1974 Money Income and Poverty Statistics."

This report presents detailed social and economic statistics for the population of the United States below the poverty level in 1975 based on the March 1976 Current Population Survey (CPS). In addition, for comparability with 1975 estimates, revised 1974 data are shown in the historical tables that contain data on the changing characteristics of the low-income population since 1959, the first year for which such data are available.

As in previous poverty reports, data are presented by selected characteristics such as race, family status, residence, education, work experience, and type and source of income. This year additional data are shown for the elderly and for persons of Spanish origin. For the first time data on tenure, work experience and presence of children, duration of unemployment and ratio of family income to the poverty level are included. Since the format of this report differs from that of previous reports, a list of the tables in this report and the corresponding table number in the previous final report (Series P-60, No. 102) is shown in table D. See section entitled, "New Data on Poverty" for more detail.

In this text, the terms "poverty," "low-income," and "poor" are used interchangeably. The poverty threshold for a nonfarm family of four persons was $5,500 in 1975, about 9 percent higher than the comparable 1974 cutoff of $5,038. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the annual average Consumer Price Index (CPI). See page 195 for a detailed explanation of the poverty concept.

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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