Planners, policymakers, and community stakeholders use poverty estimates as key indicators to evaluate trends and current economic conditions within communities and to make comparisons across demographic groups. Federal and state governments often use these estimates to allocate funds to local communities. Government agencies and local organizations regularly use these estimates to identify the number of individuals and families eligible for various programs.
This brief uses the 2016 and 2017 American Community Surveys (ACS) 1-year estimates to analyze poverty rates for 2017 as well as the changes in poverty from 2016 for the nation, states, and the District of Columbia, and the most populous metropolitan areas. The brief also discusses the distribution of people by income-to-poverty ratio.