The poverty rate is the percentage of people living below the poverty level or “threshold.” Each year, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget establishes a series of poverty thresholds for different family sizes and ages of household heads.
Among Montana's residents, the poverty rate for people under 18 . . .
- was 21.1 percent in 2012, 18.4 percent in 1999, and 20.5 percent in 1989;
- was 21.1 percent compared to 22.6 percent in the U.S. in 2012;
- ranked 25th - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2012.
These next data come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. They are based on averages of data collected in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. These estimates cannot be used to say what is going on in any particular year in the period, only what the average value is over the full period. The Census Bureau's American Factfinder provides 3-year estimates for counties with at 20,000 people, and 1-year estimates for counties with at least 65,000 people. We use 5-year estimates because they are available for all counties and allow comparison to other counties within the region.
The poverty rate for the youngest children, those under age 5 . . .
- was 24.0 percent in 2008-2012 compared to 39.5 percent in 1999;
- was 24.0 percent in 2008-2012 compared to 24.1 percent in the U.S.;
- ranked 20th - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2008-2012.
The rate for people 65 and over . . .
- was 8.4 percent in 2008-2012 and 9.1 percent in 1999;
- was 8.4 percent compared to 9.4 percent in the U.S. in 2008-2012;
- ranked 24th - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2008-2012.