The current economic expansion, the longest on record, has had only a slight impact on the share of the population living above the poverty line (the line was set at $16,660 for a family of four in 1998). Forty years ago, 22% of the population was living in poverty, but that figure dropped to roughly 12% over a 10-year period. Since then, the poverty rate, while fluctuating somewhat, has remained around 12%. The current expansion reduced the share of those living in poverty from 15% to 12% overall.
Suggested citation: "Poverty Rates," Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Trends, no. 00-07, pp. 12, 07.01.2000.