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Income, Poverty, and Valuation of Noncash Benefits: 1993

Report Number P60-188

NOTE: The estimates in this report for 1993 are based on civilian noninstitutional population benchmarks established by the 1990 decennial census and adjusted for the estimated census undercount. Reports for income years 1980 through 1992 used population estimates based on the 1980 decennial census. Previously published data for 1992 and 1989 have been revised using the 1990 census population controls to improve their comparability with the 1993 estimates; these data are denoted as "1992r" and "1989r" in the tables. (Data controlled to 1980 census-based estimates are not denoted with an "r.") All references to changes between 1989 or 1992 and 1993 in the text and tables are based on comparisons between the revised estimates. Details concerning the introduction of the new 1990 census adjusted controls can be found in Appendix B, "Introduction of 1990 Census Population Controls."

The March 1994 Current Population Survey (CPS) income and demographic supplement is the first to use computer-assisted survey information collection (CASIC) technology for its entire data collection process (CASIC was introduced for monthly labor force data collection in January 1994). Inconsistencies between 1994 CPS and earlier data were discovered in the data review process. As a result, 5,422 cases were identified for reinterview in August to investigate the extent and nature of the problem. The results of the reinterview and the consequent modifications to the edit and allocation procedures used for the March 1994 CPS supplement are discussed in Appendix C, "Conversion to a Computer-Assisted Questionnaire." The conversion to a completely computer-assisted data collection environment represents a major break in the March CPS data series. As a result, data from the March 1994 CPS are not strictly comparable to earlier years. Though comparisons to data from earlier years are made in this report, caution should be used in interpreting these results. In other words, noneconomic events may be the source of the economic changes observed.

All demographic surveys, including the CPS, suffer from undercoverage of the population. This undercoverage results from missed housing units and missed persons within sample households. Compared to the level of the 1990 Decennial Census, overall CPS undercoverage is about 8 percent. Undercoverage varies with age, sex, and race. For some groups, such as 20 to 24 year old Black males, the undercoverage is as high as about 29 percent. The weighting procedures used by the Census Bureau partially correct for the bias due to undercoverage. However, its final impact on estimates is unknown. For details, see appendix E.


This report presents data on the income and poverty status of households, families, and persons in the United States for the calendar year 1993. These data were compiled from information collected in the March 1994 CPS conducted by the Bureau of the Census. The survey consisted of approximately 60,000 households nationwide.

This report begins with a section discussing household income followed by discussions of the earnings of year-round, full-time workers, per capita income, income inequality, and State income data. The second section of this report presents poverty data cross-classified by various demographic characteristics such as age, race, Hispanic origin, and family relationship, including poverty estimates for States. The report concludes with a section entitled "Valuation of Noncash Benefits," which examines the effects of taxes, government transfers, and various noncash benefits on income and poverty estimates under 15 alternative (experimental) definitions of income.

The official income and poverty estimates are based solely on money income before taxes and do not include the value of noncash benefits such as food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, public housing, and employer-provided fringe benefits. The "Valuation of Noncash Benefits" section of this report discusses the effect of taxes and noncash benefits on income and poverty. These data were also derived from information collected in the March 1994 CPS along with data from other sources such as the Internal Revenue Service U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Health Care Financing Administration.

Page Last Revised - December 16, 2021
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