This report presents detailed social and economic characteristics of the U.S. population below the poverty level in 1983 based on the March 1984 Current Population Survey (CPS). Poverty data are cross-classified by such characteristics as race, family relationship, type of residence, education, work experience, and type of income received. The poverty level consists of a set of dollar thresholds which vary by family size and composition. The average poverty threshold for a family of four persons was $10,178 in 1983, compared with $9,862 in 1982. The poverty thresholds are updated every year to reflect changes in the annual average Consumer Price Index. (See appendix A for an 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.