In the United States, the poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census. That number was up from 14.3 percent in 2009 and 12.5 percent in 2007.
Boston's poverty rate is higher than the national average, by a notable margin. Also, at 21.2 percent, the percentage of people living in poverty in Boston is more than double the statewide average of 10.5 percent.
Those numbers jump higher under strained circumstances. Nearly half of the city's single mothers living with children younger than five-years-old suffer in poverty. On the other side of the coin, less than 6 percent of Boston's married couples without children live in poverty.
The U.S. Census uses a number of "thresholds" to measure poverty, which you can find here. In the example given by the U.S. Census, using 2010 numbers, a family of five, with a mother, father, great aunt and two children living in the household, would be considered living in poverty if the family income were $26,675 or less.
Surrounding communities:Community Persons below poverty level, 2006-2010 Arlington 4.9 percent Boston 21.2 percent Cambridge 15 percent Chelsea 24.2 percent Everett 11.9 percent Lynnfield 4.1 percent Malden 12.8 percent Medford 8.3 percent Melrose 4.7 percent Reading 1.7 percent Revere 14.7 percent Saugus 5.1 percent Somerville 14.7 percent Stoneham 6.5 percent Wakefield 2.4 percent Winchester 2.5 percent Winthrop 10.2 percent Woburn 5.9 percent Massachusetts 10.5 percent
Breakdown within Boston:All families 15.90% With related children under 18 years 23.80% With related children under 5 years only 18.10% Married couple families 5.60% With related children under 18 years 6.70% With related children under 5 years only 4.30% Families with female householder, no husband present 33.40% With related children under 18 years 42.10% With related children under 5 years only 48.10% All people 21.20% Under 18 years 28.80% Related children under 18 years 28.50% Related children under 5 years 26.40% Related children 5 to 17 years 29.50% 18 years and over 19.60% 18 to 64 years 19.50% 65 years and over 20.50% People in families 16.60% Unrelated individuals 15 years and over 29.30%