Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


Moore School of Business



First Advisor

McKinley Blackburn


While poverty is undoubtedly one of the most widely used domestic indicators of social wellbeing, its measurement has a critical shortcoming. Using national poverty thresholds ignores the potential differences in the cost of living across states. States use the national poverty threshold when conducting poverty research and assessing community demographics. Theoretically price level differences between states could mean that, if poverty thresholds were adjusted for cost-of-living by state, the adjusted poverty rate could be different than the official poverty rate Using data specific to individual states that can be found in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, geographically specific thresholds have been constructed for all fifty states, using the Bishaw Index and the Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities. These have been used to allow for constructing cost-of-living differences in constructing national poverty rates and poverty rates within states.

Included in

Economics Commons