This report presents detailed social and economic statistics for the population of the United States below the poverty level in 1980 based on the March 1981 Current Population Survey (CPS). As in previous poverty reports, data are presented by selected characteristics, such as race, family relationship, type of residence, education, work experience, and type of income. Estimates shown in this report for 1980 are based on population controls derived from the 1980 census. See the section, "Introduction of 1980 Census Population Controls" for further details.
The average poverty threshold for a nonfarm family of four persons was $8,414 in 1980, about 13.5 percent higher than the comparable 1979 figure of $7,412. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the annual average Consumer Price Index. (See appendix A for a detailed explanation of the poverty definition.) In this text, the terms "poor" and "below the poverty level" are used interchangeably.
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.