Is the unmarried partner being included in the family unit when calculating poverty?


#1

Hello,

I am trying to identify individuals with POVERTY of 200 and below. Based on the POVERTY description, individuals within the same family unit will have the same POVERTY value. As the unmarried partner is being included in the same family unit with the “related” individuals, I expect the unmarried partner will have the same POVERTY value with others in the unit. But this does not seem to be the case in the data.

Below is an example from 2016 ACS data: PERNUM=5 is included in the same FAMUNIT, but why does s/he have a different POVERTY?

A related question, the unmarried partner’s income (INCTOT) is also not included in FTOTINC. Did I misunderstand how the POVERTY is calculated?

Thank you for your help!


#2

This question and answer is very closely related to your question. Basically, the IPUMS family interrelationship variables sometimes assign “unmarried partners” to be part of the first family unit. This is different from the family unit definition used by the US Census Bureau. So, since the Census Bureau actually publishes poverty values for the first family unit in the PUMS, the POVERTY variable in IPUMS USA uses these published poverty figures for the first family unit. This is explained briefly on the description tab of the POVERTY variable.