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Data Dashboard: Population Below Poverty Level


Population Below Poverty Level

Trend at a Glance

At last count

8% of Wake County residents live below the federal poverty threshold

Current Through




What does this measure?

The percent of the population below the federal poverty line indicates the financial resources of its citizens, and the ability of citizens to meet basic needs, like food, housing, education, transportation, and medical expenses. A community with a higher percentage of residents living under the poverty level may require more social services from the public and nonprofit sectors. A high poverty rate is also a sign that jobs either are not available, perhaps because of shifts in the economy and industry of the region, or that available jobs do not match up with the skills of the workforce.

How is Wake County performing?


Did you know?

In Wake County, approximately one in four adults over 25 year old without a high school degree are below the poverty level.

Data Source

Data Considerations

The Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates are referenced based on jurisdiction size. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and considered more current, are used for county, state and national data. Five-year estimates, considered more accurate, are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/
There is a lag between the collection and reporting of census data; data for 2017 will not be released until September 2018.

Charts & Maps

Poverty 2017.jpg

Data is updated:

The United States Census Bureau typically publishes estimates for the American Community Survey in September each year.

Related Resources


October 2020; Revised to reflect 2019 ACS estimates




Created at 1/3/2014 4:27 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 10/5/2020 4:21 PM by Jason Horton

Wake County Departments & Agencies: