What is poverty?
The US Census Bureau determines the Federal Poverty Level each year. The poverty level is based on the size of the household and the ages of family members. If a person or family’s total income before taxes is less than the poverty level, the person or family are considered in poverty.
Why is this indicator included in CalEnviroScreen?
- Members of poor communities are more likely to be exposed to pollution and to suffer from health effects as a result of that exposure than residents of richer communities.
- Income can affect health when people cannot afford healthy living and working conditions, nutritious food and necessary medical care.
- Poor communities are often located in areas with high levels of pollution.
- Poverty can cause stress that weakens the immune system and causes people to become ill from pollution.
How do we measure poverty in CalEnviroScreen 3.0?
- The US Census Bureau's American Community Survey maintains information on the rate of poverty in different areas in California.
- The indicator is the percent of the population with incomes less than two times the federal poverty level.
- The data are from the years 2011-2015.
- A complete description of the Poverty indicator can be found in the CalEnviroScreen 3.0 report.
Where can I find more information about poverty in California?
- Public Policy Institute of California: Poverty in California