Poverty Determination in U.S. Insular Areas

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Owing to high levels of poverty, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) rely heavily on need-based federal programs to provide basic services. Two federal agencies publish measures used by some federal programs to determine poverty status and allocate need-based assistance: the Census Bureau (Census) publishes poverty thresholds--dollar-value benchmarks for determining poverty status--and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides poverty guidelines, which are derived from the poverty thresholds. The approaches ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 10, 2009.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Owing to high levels of poverty, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) rely heavily on need-based federal programs to provide basic services. Two federal agencies publish measures used by some federal programs to determine poverty status and allocate need-based assistance: the Census Bureau (Census) publishes poverty thresholds--dollar-value benchmarks for determining poverty status--and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides poverty guidelines, which are derived from the poverty thresholds. The approaches used to determine these poverty measures affect, respectively, poverty population statistics and income eligibility of individuals and families for certain need-based federal assistance. The poverty thresholds apply nationwide and in the insular areas, with no geographic variation, while separate poverty guidelines for Alaska and Hawaii, but not for the insular areas, have been provided since 1970. We (1) examined how the Census poverty thresholds and HHS poverty guidelines are determined for the insular areas. In addition, we (2) considered the possibility of providing poverty thresholds and guidelines specific to the insular areas and identified the implications of extending to the insular areas the approach originally used to determine the Alaska and Hawaii guidelines."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 10, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Poverty Determination in U.S. Insular Areas, text, November 10, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc299343/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.