Monday, August 09, 2004
Compare and contrast
What percentage of the population is homeless?
To go after this one I had to go sideways at it. Since, as a group, the homeless are one of the most difficult demographics to pin down, I decided instead to start with poverty figures and then move on to estimates. The census figures from 2002 on poverty are shockingly large. I was particularly interested in how the number of people below the poverty line jumped almost 85% after subtracting taxes. So after taxes, 19% of the US population was living below the poverty level.
A Massachusetts page on homelessnesness statistics also provided this little nugget:
The 2002 poverty guidelines (a rough and ready figure) in the contiguous statesA rule of thumb I heard over 25 years ago was that, ideally, your housing budget should not exceed one-fifth of your income. In urban US areas, that level is nearly impossible. For info from Sodexho (City Mayors Society) on poverty, try this link.
are set at an income of $18,392 for a family of four, $9,183 for an individual. Source: US Department of Health and Human Services.