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What is “deep poverty”?


The U.S. Census Bureau defines “deep poverty” as living in a household with a total cash income below 50 percent of its poverty threshold. According to the Census Bureau, 20.03 million people lived in deep poverty in 2021. Those in deep poverty represented 6.2 percent of the total population and 48.4 percent of those in poverty.

While poverty thresholds vary by the size and household composition, for a single individual under 65 years old, deep poverty would be an income below $7,049 in 2021. For a family of four with two children, it would be $13,740.


Source: UC Davis Center for Poverty Research (2022). What is “deep poverty”?.