Cost of Living Adjustments for the New Supplemental Poverty Measures
Category: Prices and costs
Overview: The Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Developing a Supplemental Poverty Measure recommended that Supplemental Poverty Measure thresholds be adjusted for price differences across geographic areas. The American Community Survey (ACS) data allows for the first time for the creation of a housing price index. Only the shelter portion of the Supplemental Poverty Measurement thresholds is adjusted using the index. This approach offers one option for calculating cost-of-living differences across regions.
Unit of Analysis: Two-bedroom rental units with complete plumbing and kitchens
Coverage: 358 index values; for each state, a median is estimated for all nonmetropolitan areas (48), for each metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with a population above 100,000 (264), and for a combination of all other metropolitan areas within a state.
Key Data Elements: The BLS, using data from five years of the Consumer Expenditure survey, estimates thresholds for renters, homeowners with mortgages, and homeowners without mortgages. The index is based on median gross rent for two-bedroom units with complete plumbing and kitchens. Additional estimated indices consider rent at the 33rd percentile and below poverty thresholds.
Timeframe: Currently 2009
Data Source: Derived from the 5-Year American Community Survey data
Access: Public use, available on the SPM Research Files
Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Provides for cost-of-living comparisons across regions or within states with consideration to metropolitan/non-metropolitan areas.
For Additional Information:
- Available on the SPM Research Files
- Development of Index: Geographic Adjustments of Supplemental Poverty Measure Thresholds: Using the American Community Survey Five-Year Data on Housing Costs
- Contact: Trudi Renwick, U.S. Census Bureau
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org