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Income values used in POVERTY185 and POVERTY130

Codes and Frequencies

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POVERTYLEVEL identifies which fiscal year income values were used to determine the relationship household income and poverty level in POVERTY130 and POVERTY185.

POVERTY130 and POVERTY185 are the two questions relating to household income from the ATUS Eating and Health Module. Respondents are asked if their household income is greater or less than a given amount. For POVERTY130, this amount approximates 130% of the poverty threshold for a household the size of the respondent's household; for POVERTY185 the amount is 185% of the poverty threshold. These thresholds are the income-eligibility thresholds for food and nutrition assistance programs. The income-eligibility threshold for reduced-price school meals and for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is 185 percent of the poverty threshold. The Federal income-eligibility threshold for most SNAP households and for free school meals is 130 percent of the poverty threshold.

The poverty threshold is determined by the number of people living in the household. Specific dollar amounts by household size are listed in this document.

Poverty thresholds change depending on when the interview was conducted because poverty thresholds are revised annually by the U.S. Census Bureau. POVERTYLEVEL indicates the fiscal year of the Census Bureau poverty thresholds used to calculate POVERTY130 and POVERTY185. The FY2006 thresholds were used for interviews conducted between January 1, 2006 and September 30, 2006; the FY2007 thresholds were used for interviews conducted between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007.

POVERTYLEVEL was used during the Eating and Health Module of the ATUS interview. Analyses that include POVERTYLEVEL should use EHWT as the weight.


This variable is comparable across years.


  • Eating and Health module respondent households.


  • 2006-2008, 2014-2016, 2022


This variable has no flags.