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Understanding Supplemental Poverty Measures: Their Development and Application

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The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality

With the release of the California Poverty Measure in the fall of 2013, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and the Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse (SSRC) partnered to provide an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and organizations to learn about the development and purpose of supplemental poverty measures (SPMs). The official poverty measure, which has been in use since the 1960s, estimates poverty rates by looking at a family’s or individual’s cash income. SPMs are more complex and incorporate additional items such as tax payments, housing cost, and increase the threshold for basic necessities such as food and utilities. Additionally, supplemental poverty measures are often tailored for specific States or cities.

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality has five core objectives that drive their research: monitoring trends, supporting scientific analysis, developing science-based policy, disseminating data, and training the next generation of scholars, policy analysts, and politicians in the areas of poverty and inequality. These core objectives are aligned with the SSRC's goal to collect, catalogue and disseminate quality research and resources relevant to researchers and professionals invested in the self-sufficiency of low-income families and individuals. 

To further the mutual goals of the two entities, the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and the SSRC collaborated to host a Webinar in December 2013 titled Understanding Supplemental Poverty Measures: Their Development and Application. 

Click here to view materials from the Webinar. 

Presenters: 
Mark Levitan, Director of Poverty Research, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity
Marybeth Mattingly, Research Consultant, The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Trudi Renwick, Chief, Poverty Statistics Branch, United States Census Bureau