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Component ID: #ti327892004

The links below provide the aggregated tax, SNAP benefits, and poverty universe data used in producing the SAIPE estimates. Specific details about all variables in the model can be found in Information about Data Inputs.

Additional File Formats

Additional file formats can be accessed in our archives.

Component ID: #ti406597285

Data Descriptions

Component ID: #ti1404678925

State IRS Data

The aggregated income data available on this site have been approved for public release by the Internal Revenue Service, Statistics of Income Division (IRS/SOI). Tax return data on individuals is protected by Title 26 U.S.C. and is never published. The IRS Form-1040 data used for SAIPE include:

  • Total Exemptions - the sum of primary, secondary, and dependent children exemptions claimed on individual tax returns.
  • Poor Exemptions - the subset of total exemptions for which the adjusted gross income falls below the official poverty threshold for a family of the size implied by the number of exemptions on the return.
  • Age Exemptions - the number of exemptions on IRS returns due to either the spouse or the filer being age 65 or older.
  • Poor Age Exemptions - the subset of age exemptions for which the adjusted gross income falls below the official poverty threshold for a family of the size implied by the number of exemptions on the return.
  • Child Exemptions - the number of exemptions on IRS returns identified as child exemptions (including children at or away from home).
  • Poor Child Exemptions - the subset of child exemptions for which the adjusted gross income falls below the official poverty threshold for a family of the size implied by the number of exemptions on the return.
  • Total Exemptions under age 65 - algebraic operation of total exemptions minus age exemptions as defined above.
  • Poor Exemptions under age 65 - algebraic operation of poor exemptions minus poor age exemptions as defined above.
  • Mean AGI - aggregate adjusted gross income divided by the number of returns.
  • Median AGI - the middle value of the aggregate adjusted gross income.

Tax files for 1989 through 1998 contain data derived from returns filed through the first 9 months of the year following that tax year; the tax files for subsequent years contain the returns for all 12 months. Data users need to be aware that these data may not match data from other sources due to differences in definitions, and that the SAIPE program only uses tax returns for the relevant income year (IRS/SOI include all tax returns filed in a calendar year in their tabulations, regardless of the reference income year). Also note that starting in 1995, total exemptions include children living away from home (prior to 1995, only children at home were counted), exclude parent exemptions, and exclude "other" exemptions. This affects all variables that employ the number of exemptions in their calculation. In addition, tax returns claiming no exemptions (i.e., those who are claimed as dependents on other returns) as well as estate returns (i.e., returns of people who are deceased) are excluded from the calculation of all variables. For more information on how the SAIPE program uses the IRS data, please go to federal income tax returns.

Component ID: #ti1401952039

State and County SNAP Benefits Data

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the name for what was formerly known as the federal Food Stamp Program, as of October 1, 2008.

The SNAP benefits data represent the number of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for each county, state, and the District of Columbia from 1981 to the latest available year.

The state-level files contain the number of SNAP benefits recipients by month, and the county level files contain the number of recipients in July of each year.

Outliers of the SNAP benefits data at the state level are smoothed on the basis of time series analysis, to remove the effects of anomalies, such as natural disasters, in which the typical relations between income and SNAP eligibility do not hold.

Prior to the SAIPE modeling, the number of SNAP benefits recipients in Alaska and Hawaii are adjusted downward because the income eligibility guidelines for these states are higher than they are for states in the continental U.S, whereas the official poverty thresholds are the same for all states and the District of Columbia. However, in this Excel file, the Alaska and Hawaii figures are pre-adjustment data.

The SNAP data provided for download are the figures used in the production of the SAIPE data for the given year and are not updated to reflect any subsequent corrections that may have been made by the states or by the Food and Nutrition Service since that time.

The county SNAP benefits totals are raked (i.e., controlled to add up) to the state totals (12-month averages) which are also provided in the data files. These values may not match those in the state files (except for the most recent years) because these data are used in the actual production for the specified year. Also note, for the 1995 poverty estimates and onward, the state totals in the county SNAP benefits files are based on the average number of SNAP benefits recipients over twelve consecutive months. For example, the 2009 SAIPE model uses an average over the period July 2008 through June 2009.

More information on how the SAIPE program uses SNAP benefits data in the models can be found at SNAP benefits recipients.

Component ID: #ti1568391371

State/County Poverty Universe Data

The poverty universe is made up of persons for whom the Census Bureau can determine poverty status (either "in poverty" or "not in poverty"). The definition of poverty universe for SAIPE estimates is the same for 2006 and beyond and conceptually matches the poverty universe of the American Community Survey (ACS). The poverty universe estimates are not the same as the population estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program. Instead, they are derived estimates that differ from population estimates in the following ways:

  • Beginning with 2006, the poverty universe includes group quarters populations only for noninstitutionalized group quarters, not elsewhere classified. Residents of college dormitories, military housing, and all institutional group quarters populations are excluded.
  • The poverty universe does not include children under the age of 15 who are not related to a reference person within the household by way of birth, marriage or adoption (for example, foster children). The reason is that Census Bureau surveys typically ask income questions only of persons age 15 or older and those under 15 related to a reference person within the household.

Component ID: #ti1996640132

The poverty universes provided on this web site are the estimates used in the production of the SAIPE program's poverty rates for the given year and are not updated to reflect any successful challenges or other subsequent updates (annual or otherwise) to the published population estimates from the Population Estimates Program. Due to their method of construction, the poverty universe estimates are sometimes larger than the official population estimates. This happens partially because the age groups for the SAIPE program's poverty universe estimates do not in all cases match the age groups used as population controls in estimating the ACS.

The 2005 poverty universe estimates excluded all group quarters’ residents, matching the definition of the 2005 ACS.  Prior to the estimates for 2005, the poverty universe data were derived from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement of the Current Population Survey. Please see the denominators for model-based poverty rates webpage for details on how SAIPE poverty universes are produced.

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