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Data Dashboard: Population Below Poverty Level


Population Below Poverty Level

Trend at a Glance

At last count

11.6% of the population lives below the federal poverty threshold

Current Through

December 2012



What does this measure?

The poverty rate measures the percentage of individuals whose income does not meet the federal poverty threshold, which varies depending on the size of the family. The percent of the population below the federal poverty level reflects the ability of citizens to meet basic needs, like food, housing, education, transportation, and medical expenses. Along with rates of higher education, poverty rate is a main measure of the social, economic, and physical health of a community.

How is Wake County performing?

Mirroring national and state trends, the number and percent of people living with incomes below the federal poverty line has increased since 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, the number of Wake County residents living at or below poverty level increased by more than 30,000, from 77,150 to an estimate of 107,942. However, the Wake County poverty rate has been consistently significantly lower than the state and national poverty rates.

Did you know?

In 2012 Wake County had the lowest poverty rate among urban counties in North Carolina.

Data Source

Data Considerations

Depending on the size of the municipality, the Census Bureau's one-year or five-year estimates were referenced to determine each municipality's median age. One-year estimates, used for higher-populated areas and therefore used for county, state, and national data, are considered more current, while five-year estimates are considered more accurate, and are used for municipal data. More can be read about these estimates here: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/estimates/

Charts & Maps



Data is updated:

County, state, and national data is made available annually by the US Census Bureau in October. Municipal data is made availabe in December. Data is published here annually on or around December 30 by Wake County Planning, Development, and Inspections.

Related Resources


Not applicable.


Created at 1/3/2014 4:27 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 8/12/2014 9:49 AM by Lori K. Neumeier