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 Washington's residents, the poverty rate for people under 18 . . .
- was 18.5 percent in 2011, 13.2 percent in 1999, and 14.5 percent in 1989;
- was 18.5 percent compared to 22.5 percent in the U.S. in 2011;
- ranked 33rd - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2011.
These next data come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. They are based on averages of data collected in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. 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 32.0 percent in 2007-2011 compared to 32.0 percent in 1999;
- was 32.0 percent in 2007-2011 compared to 38.1 percent in the U.S.;
- ranked 35th - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2007-2011.
The rate for people 65 and over . . .
- was 7.8 percent in 2007-2011 and 7.5 percent in 1999;
- was 7.8 percent compared to 9.4 percent in the U.S. in 2007-2011;
- ranked 37th - from highest to lowest - out of the 50 states in 2007-2011.