DefinitionThe estimated percentage of persons living in households whose income is at or below the federal poverty level.
NumeratorEstimated number of persons living in households whose income is below 100% of the federal poverty level as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
DenominatorEstimated number of persons in the population.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe U.S. Poverty Guidelines are published in January of each year, and may be found online at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/.
The county data estimates were modeled by the U.S. Census Bureau. Estimated standard errors provide confidence intervals around each estimate that can be used to evaluate the quality of the estimate.
Why Is This Important?Poverty takes into account both income and family size, and has both immediate and long-lasting effects on health. Income provides an assessment of the financial resources available to individual persons or families for basic necessities (e.g., food, clothing, and health care) to maintain or improve their well-being. Persons living in poverty are worse off than persons in more affluent households for many of the indicators tracked by the New Mexico Department of Health.
Healthy People Objective: Proportion of persons living in poverty U.S. Target: Not applicable
How Are We Doing?in 2013, New Mexico's poverty rate peaked at 21.4%, the highest it had been over the past two decades. The rate has begun to decline, but at 19.8% is still higher than average for New Mexico, and is 35% higher than the U.S. rate of 14.7%.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2015, New Mexico was one of the most impoverished states in the nation. With 19.8% of its population living in households with incomes below the poverty threshold, New Mexico's poverty rate was the second highest in the nation, behind only Mississippi.