POLLUTION LOCATOR|Definitions of Census Terms

The lead hazard indicators used in Scorecard derive from one or more of the following elements.

The Census defines a household to include all of the persons who occupy a housing unit. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements.

An occupied housing unit is a house, an apartment, a mobile home, a group of rooms, or a single room that is occupied as the usual place of residence by the person or group of persons living in it when the unit was counted, and is occupied as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants live and eat separately from any other persons in the building and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. The occupants may be a single family, one person living alone, two or more families living together, or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements. The count of households and householders may not equal the count of occupied housing units, because in sample tabulations, the numbers may differ as a result of the weighting process.

Income includes all money income in 1999 reported separately for wage or salary income; net non-farm self-employment income; net farm self-employment income; interest, dividend, or net rental or royalty income; Social Security or railroad retirement income; public assistance or welfare income; retirement or disability income; and all other income. Receipts from the following sources are not included as income: money received from the sale of property; the value of income "in kind" from food stamps, public housing subsidies, medical care, employer contributions for persons, etc.; withdrawal of bank deposits; money borrowed; tax refunds; exchange of money between relatives living in the same household; gifts and lump-sum inheritances, insurance payments, and other types of lump-sum receipts.

Poverty thresholds are the income cutoffs used by the Census Bureau to determine poverty status. The cutoffs include 48 poverty thresholds, calculated for family size (from one person to nine or more persons) and adjusted for the number of family members under 18 years old (from no child present to eight or more children present) and, for individuals and two-person families, by whether the householder is under or over 65. At the core of the calculation of the cutoffs was the determination from the Agriculture Department's 1955 survey of food consumption that, since families of three or more persons spend approximately one-third of their income on food, the poverty level for such families was three times the cost of a minimum diet for their family. For smaller families and persons living alone, the cost of the economy food plan was multiplied by factors that were slightly higher to compensate for the relatively larger fixed expenses for these smaller households. The poverty thresholds are revised annually to allow for changes in the cost of living as reflected in the Consumer Price Index. The 1999 average poverty threshold for a family of four persons was
$17,029. Poverty thresholds were applied on a national basis and were not adjusted for regional, state or local variations in the cost of living.

Poverty status is determined by comparing the
income of each family and unrelated individual against the appropriate poverty threshold for the same size and type of household, based on the definition originated by the Social Security Administration in 1964 and subsequently modified by Federal interagency committees. If the total income was less than the corresponding cutoff, the family or unrelated individual was classified as "below the poverty level."

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control from 1991 to 1994, found that children in poor households were eight times as likely to be lead poisoned as children in high-income families; a household was defined as poor for the NHANES if its income was less than or equal to 130% of the appropriate poverty threshold. Although data are not available for children in families with the same exact income-poverty ratio, data are presented for children in the next closest interval: families with income less than or equal to 129% of poverty. The average income cutoff at 129 percent of poverty level for a family of four persons was $21,967 ($17,029 x 1.29) in 1999.

A household below the poverty level means that the total 1999 income of the family or of the non-family householder is below the appropriate poverty threshold. The poverty thresholds vary depending upon three criteria: size of family, number of children, and age of the family householder or unrelated individual for one and two-persons households. The income of persons living in the
household who are unrelated to the householder is not considered when determining the poverty status of a household, nor does their presence affect the household size in determining the appropriate poverty threshold.