Today the U.S. Census Bureau released a new report on poverty statistics from the 2018-2020 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). This report provides monthly, annual, episodic and chronic poverty rates over the 2017-2019 period to provide additional insight for measuring poverty in the United States. Monthly poverty rates can provide insight into changes in poverty within a year or over multiple years, while annual poverty rates provide insight into changes in poverty over multiple years. Episodic measures utilize the longitudinal nature of the SIPP to examine the share of individuals experiencing monthly poverty for at least two consecutive months over the 36-month reference period, while chronic poverty measures examine the share of individuals who were in poverty for each of the 36 months.
The SIPP is a nationally representative panel survey administered by the Census Bureau that collects information on the short-term dynamics of employment, income, household composition and eligibility for and participation in government assistance programs. The SIPP is a leading source of information on specific topics related to economic well-being, family dynamics, education, wealth and assets, health insurance, child care and food security. More information on the SIPP survey is available on the website.