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State of Alaska

Complete Health Indicator Report of Poverty - All Persons At Or Above Poverty Threshold (HA2020 Leading Health Indicator: 24)


The percentage of persons whose income is at or above the federal poverty thresholds as defined annually by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The 125% poverty threshold is used for all Alaskans and Alaska Natives. The 100% poverty threshold is used by the U.S. comparison.


Estimated number of persons whose income is at or above the federal poverty thresholds (125% for Alaskans and 100% for U.S. comparison) as defined by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.


Mid-year resident population in calendar year.

Data Interpretation Issues

The Census Bureau reports poverty data from several major household surveys and programs. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) is the source of official national poverty estimates. The American Community Survey (ACS) provides single and multi-year estimates for smaller areas. U.S. Estimates are based on income below 100% of the federal poverty level for the nation. The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine the "ratio of income to poverty threshold." The official poverty thresholds are updated for inflation using the Consumer Price Index, but they do not vary geographically except that the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledges high cost of living in Alaska and Hawaii with an adjustment called the "poverty guidelines" which are applied to programmatic eligibility criteria. The poverty definition uses money income before taxes and does not include capital gains, subsistence resources, or non-cash benefits (such as public housing, Medicaid, and food stamps). Historically, analyses of the monetary value of subsistence foods (documented when opportunity allowed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game) has been found to be lower in poorer communities than in better-off communities, and not so substantial that it would alter the ranking of communities with regard to per capita "income" if it were taken into account. Poverty status is determined by comparing annual income to a set of dollar values called thresholds that vary by family size, number of children, and age of householder. If a family's before tax money income is less than the dollar value of their threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered to be in poverty. For people not living in families, poverty status is determined by comparing the individual's income to his or her threshold. The poverty thresholds are updated annually.

Why Is This Important?

Income, education, and financial resources are considered key social determinants of health. The lack of such resources limits individuals' ability to obtain health insurance, pay for medical care, afford healthy food, safe housing, and access to other basic goods. Children in poverty face greater morbidity and mortality due to greater risk of accidental injury, lack of health care access, and poor educational achievement. Early (or prenatal) poverty may result in development damage. Level of educational attainment influences employment opportunities and income, which in turn impact other social determinants of health, including access to health care. Education can have multigenerational implications that make it an important measure for the health of future generations.

Healthy People Objective: Proportion of persons living in poverty

U.S. Target: Not applicable

Other Objectives

Healthy Alaskans 2020 Indicator 24: Increase the percentage of the population living above the federal poverty level (as defined for Alaska) to 90% by 2020.

What Is Being Done?

Health care "safety net" programs, such as Medicaid, CHIP, and the Primary Care Network (PCN) provide some relief to those who are eligible. Alaska's community health centers also fill a critical niche in providing high-quality health care services to Alaskans of any income level. Programs such as Head Start and those that provide assistance linking people with jobs aim to reduce poverty by increasing social functioning and self-sufficiency. Other programs, such as minimum wage requirements, food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and government subsidized health insurance and child care, provide assistance to families needing additional support.

Evidence-based Practices

As part of the Healthy Alaskans 2020 health improvement process, groups of Alaska subject matter experts met over a period of months in a rigorous review process to identify and prioritize strategies to address the 25 health priorities. Public health partners around the state are aligning work around these approaches adapted to Alaska's unique needs. '''Strategy 1:''' [[br]]Support a comprehensive and integrated career and technical education system that aligns training programs and coordinates delivery to prepare the population for Alaska careers. This strategy is based on the Alaska Career and Technical Education Plan. '''Evidence Base:''' [[br]]Postsecondary education and training are the clearest pathways into the middle class and future economic security. The average income of college graduates is significantly higher than those with only a high school diploma, and even higher than those without a high school diploma. Middle-skill jobs are projected to account for a large proportion of job openings in the future, and the fastest growing occupations will require postsecondary education or training. Career and technical education (CTE) is a strategy that can prepare the population for careers by effectively transitioning people from high school into post-secondary education and into employment. An effective CTE system will prepare the population with the pathways and skills needed to have successful lives and careers by providing academic, technical, professional, and overall employability skills. As well as for young people, CTE can provide pathways to chosen careers for people already in the workforce who need training to maintain or upgrade their jobs. In addition, multiple CTE delivery systems can provide equal access and quality of academic and technical programs across the state, including to rural areas. Smooth transitions from secondary to postsecondary education and from school to work are essential for successful careers in jobs that pay living wages. There is evidence that participation in CTE can lead to increased academic achievement, higher graduation rates, greater consistency of employment, higher quality jobs, and increased future earnings. The Association for Career and Technical Education cites evidence that supports the positive impacts of CTE, including increased participation in the labor force, higher earnings, and decreased risk of dropping out of school. '''Sources:''' [[br]] [ CTE Clearinghouse] [ Center on Education and the Workforce] Holzer HJ, Linn D, Monthey W. [ The Promise of High-Quality Career and Technical Education: Improving Outcomes for Students, Firms, and the Economy]. 2013. '''Strategy 2*:''' [[br]]Improve wages and benefits for the Alaskan workforce, so that individuals and families have the income needed to meet the costs of daily living. Prevailing wages offered by the public sector and key industries should reflect a wage rate that is sufficient to meet the minimum standards of living. '''Strategy 3*:''' [[br]]Reduce the number of unemployed and underemployed in households that fall below the poverty level. '''Strategy 4*:''' [[br]]Ensure adequate, safe, and affordable housing is available for all Alaskans. * The Evidence Base and Sources for Strategy 2, Strategy 3, and Strategy 4 can be found at: []. A listing of strategies, actions, and key partners on this measure can be found at: [].

Related Indicators

Health Care System Factors

Health status and access to health care services is strongly related to income and poverty.

Related Health Care System Factors Indicators:

Related Risk Factors Indicators:

Related Health Status Outcomes Indicators:

Graphical Data Views

Percentage of persons living above poverty thresholds, all Alaskans, Alaska Natives, and U.S., 2005-2020

::chart - missing::

Data from []. U.S. data presented at 100% of poverty thresholds. All Alaskans and Alaska Natives (alone and in combination) presented at 125% of poverty thresholds.
Alaska ComparisonsYearPercentage of persons living above poverty thresholds
Record Count: 35
All Alaskans200586.3%
All Alaskans200687.5%
All Alaskans200789.6%
All Alaskans200888.6%
All Alaskans200984.7%
All Alaskans201084.1%
All Alaskans201184.8%
All Alaskans201286.4%
All Alaskans201384.0%
Alaska Natives200568.1%
Alaska Natives200667.5%
Alaska Natives200784.0%
Alaska Natives200878.9%
Alaska Natives200965.2%
Alaska Natives201067.5%
Alaska Natives201170.3%
Alaska Natives201274.6%
Alaska Natives201371.7%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201390.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201490.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201590.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201690.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201790.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201890.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal201990.0%
Healthy Alaskans Goal202090.0%

Data Notes

Population in poverty is determined by poverty thresholds (125% for Alaskans and 100% for U.S. comparison).

Data Source

U.S. Bureau of the Census

More Resources and Links

Alaska and national goals may be found at the following sites:

Maps of health indicators for various subdivisions of Alaska may be found at the following site:

Evidence-based community health improvement ideas and interventions may be found at the following sites:

Additional indicator data by state and county may be found on these Websites:

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

For an on-line medical dictionary, click on this Dictionary link.
Page Content Updated On 01/26/2016, Published on 01/26/2016
The information provided above is from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health (Ak-IBIS) web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 07 February 2016 from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Center for Health Data and Statistics, Alaska Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:57:01 AKST
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 07 February 2016 3:43:25 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Tue, 26 Jan 2016 08:57:01 AKST