Defining Poverty in Terms of Time and Income in the United States: An Update

Misty L. Heggeness, U.S. Census Bureau
Jose Pacas, University of Minnesota

Understanding poverty in terms of time use is not a new phenomenon. A 1977 article by Vickery theorizes a generalized definition of poverty using both income and time dimensions. She uses time diary data to identify families who are income poor, time poor, and both and highlights the importance of a time dimension to poverty, particularly as it relates to different household configurations. This paper uses the American Time Use Survey (ATUS-X) and the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) from 2003 to 2011 to update Vickery’s analysis. We estimate poverty rates from 2003-2011 by income, time, and a combination of both for diverse household configurations. We also estimate the effect of household configuration on changes to the definition of poverty, controlling for a variety of socio-demographic factors such as age, race, and education.

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Presented in Poster Session 5