This Guide to Understanding Poverty Measures Used to Assess Economic Well-Being in California is designed to help policy stakeholders understand the details of and differences between the three major measures of poverty available for California — the official poverty measure, the Supplemental Poverty Measure, and the California Poverty Measure — and provides guidance on when each measure is most appropriate to use to understand the poverty Californians experience.
The first section of the guide provides a brief history of the three poverty measures and describes how each one determines a family’s or individual’s poverty status. The second section explains which data sources the measures are based on and discusses how to find and use the data for each one. The final section of this guide outlines the major advantages and limitations of each measure and provides guidance on when to use one measure over another. Tables, figures, and additional downloadable resources (listed below) provide supplementary information.
Related Downloadable Resources
- Quick Guide to Using Different Poverty Measures for California
- Summary of Differences in How Poverty Status Is Calculated Under Different Poverty Measures for California
- Comparison of Official, Supplemental, and California Poverty Measure Thresholds, 2017 (excel file)
- Webinar and Slide Deck: Understanding Poverty Measures Used to Assess Economic Well-Being in California