From 2017 to 2018, the official poverty rate fell by 0.5 percentage points, as household incomes rose modestly, albeit at a slower pace than the previous three years. This was the fourth year in a row that poverty declined, but the poverty rate remains half a percentage point higher than the low of 11.3% it reached in 2000.
A larger proportion of Americans are in poverty as measured by the SPM than as measured by the official measure. (Importantly, however, researchers who constructed a longer historical version of the SPM found that it shows greater long-term progress in reducing poverty than the official measure.) In 2018, the SPM increased by 0.1 percentage points to 13.1%. Under the SPM, 42.5 million Americans were in poverty last year, compared with 38.1 million Americans under the “official” poverty measure.Economic Policy Institute