Here in America I guess the politically correct term is “poverty guideline”. Oh well. I’ve always heard of it referred to as poverty level. Anyway, here are the 2002 federal guidelines that determine if one is living below the poverty level. I don’t know who calculates them or how they are calculated but the numbers seem pretty damn low to me.
Let’s suppose that your are a family of 1 and you live in the 48 contiguous states (including Washington, D.C) and that you make less than $8860 per year. You my friend, are considered to be living below the poverty level. If though, your residence happens to be the fine state of Alaska you have to earn less than $11,080 per year to achieve the same status. Finally, should call the sunny islands of Hawaii your home, the number comes in at $10,200 per year.
To calculate the numbers for additional family members and If you live in the 48 contiguous states, add $3,080 for each additional member of your household. Alaska commands an additional $3,850 per person and Hawaii an additional $3,540 per person.
These guidelines are only applicable to persons living within the United States. Poverty guidelines are not determined for territories such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Palau. Should you be stuck in one of those places and wish to qualify for any federal assistance programs, the agency responsible for said assistance will make a determination as to your request.