Status:Closed    Asked:Apr 11, 2016 - 03:57 PM

Why is the American FactFinder have considerable higher poverty rates than ACS 2014 PUMS

Using the ACS 2014 single year file (downloaded Dec, 1 2015) I got 1,800,773 persons below the 100% poverty level for Los Angeles County while the American FactFinder (also for 2014 single year) shows 1,860,890.

The total population is within .01%

The population where poverty is calculated is within .11%

100% of poverty is over 3%

Creating rates 18.7 (FactFinder) and 18.1 (IPUMS).

This is a considerable difference - more than I usually get.

I have used the same syntax for many years and this syntax seems to be working correctly for the the 2014 5 year file, but I could be making an error.

Using POVERTY <> 0 - You recode 0 to 1 and recode NA to 0 - correct

Below 100% poverty < 100.

Do you have any insight on why my numbers from IPUMS would be so different than the published numbers?

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Staff Answer




In late December, it was brought to our attention that we had not made a necessary adjustment when calculating the POVERTY variable for 2014. We promptly fixed this issue, but based on the date you provided, you will need to resubmit your data extract. I downloaded a data extract today and confirmed that the LA County poverty rate now matches FactFinder exactly (18.7% below poverty level).

Hope this helps and apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.


Apr 21, 2016 - 02:36 PM

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