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Protocol - Concentrated Poverty

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Description:

The protocol is based on extracting data from the U.S. Census Bureau on variables related to the concept of "concentrated poverty." All the relevant variables are available from the 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. The variables are based on data from the last 12 months, and a high-poverty area is defined as having a poverty level of 40%.

Specific Instructions:

If current address (see PhenX Demographics domain, Current Address measure) has been collected for a study respondent, then it is possible to use geocoding to link the address of a study participant to his or her local neighborhood (a geographic area), typically by a census-defined unit, such as a census block group or a census tract or by ZIP Code.

Protocol:

This protocol includes instructions for calculating concentrated poverty using data from two summary tables of ACS data: Table S1701: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months, and Table C17002: Ratio of Income to Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months.

The American Community Survey (ACS) data used in this protocol can be accessed by using the “Download Center” or “Advanced Search” at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Data.census.gov portal (http://data.census.gov/). You can search for a table by its id (i.e. C17002).

The Poverty Concentration Index can be calculated by dividing the total number of individuals below the poverty level in high poverty neighborhoods by the total number of individuals below the poverty level. Instructions for calculating these values using two different Census tables are below.

Calculating "Concentrated Poverty Index" using data in ACS 5-Year “Table S1701: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months.”

Table S1701: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months

Variable Code

Variable Name

S1701_C01_046E

Total; Estimate; Population for whom poverty status is determined

S1701_C02_046E

Below poverty level; Estimate; Population for whom poverty status is determined

S1701_C03_046E

Percent below poverty level; Estimate; Population for whom poverty status is determined

The total number of individuals below the poverty level in the region of interest can be calculated by taking the sum of variable S1701_C02_046E for all areas in the region.

The total number of individuals below the poverty level in high poverty neighborhoods can be calculated by taking the sum of variable S1701_C02_046E for all areas where S1701_C03_046E is greater than 35.

Note: Table S1071 is also grouped by age, race, educational attainment, employment status, work experience, and sex so poverty concentration index can be calculated for groups in these categories. Table S1071 is only available grouped by census tract for 2012 and later and is not available grouped by block group.

Calculating "Concentrated Poverty Index" using data in ACS 5-Year “Table C17002: Ratio of Income to Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months.”

Table C17002: Ratio of Income to Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months

Variable Code

Variable Name

C17002_001E

Estimate; Total:

C17002_002E

Estimate; Total: - Under .50

C17002_003E

Estimate; Total: - .50 to .99

The total number of individuals below the poverty level in the region of interest can be calculated by taking the sum of variables C17002_002E and C17002_003E for all areas in the region.

The total number of individuals below the poverty level in high poverty neighborhoods can be calculated by taking the sum of variables C17002_002E and C17002_003E for all areas where S1701_C03_046E is greater than 35.

Note: Table C17002 is only available grouped by census tract for 2009 and later and grouped by block group for 2013 and later.

Protocol Name from Source:

American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates, Concentrated Poverty, 2009-2018

Availability:

Available

Personnel and Training Required

Knowledge of census data products and websites, such as American FactFinder, and/or publicly available data portals (e.g., National Historical Geographic Information System) and/or commercial geospatial data products, such as those provided by vendors like GeoLytics or Social Explorer.

Equipment Needs

Access to a desktop/laptop computer with Internet access to download raw data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Explore Census Data website. Statistical packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS) for data manipulation and factor analysis.

Requirements
Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Secondary Data Analysis

Life Stage:

Infant, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Senior, Pregnancy

Participants:

Not applicable; derived from publicly available secondary data

Selection Rationale

The American Community Survey (ACS) helps local officials, community leaders, and businesses understand the changes taking place in their communities. It is the premier source for detailed population and housing information about our nation.

Language

English

Standards
StandardNameIDSource
Common Data Elements (CDE) Social Determinants of Health Concentrated Poverty Index Assessment Score 7263166 CDE Browser
Derived Variables

None

Process and Review

Not applicable

Source

U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Poverty status in the past 12 months (table S1701), 2009-2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=table%20S1701&hidePreview=false&tid=ACSST5Y2018.S1701&vintage=2018

U.S. Census Bureau. (2018). Ratio of income to poverty level in the past 12 months (table C17002), 2009-2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Retrieved from https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=C17002&hidePreview=false&tid=ACSDT5Y2018.C17002&vintage=2018

General References

Jargowsky, P. A. (1997). Poverty and place: Ghettos, barrios, and the American city. Russell Sage Foundation.

Jargowsky, P. A. (2003). Stunning progress, hidden problems: The dramatic decline of concentrated poverty in the 1990s (Living Cities Census Series). Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy.

Jargowsky, P. A. (2013). Concentration of poverty in the new millennium: Changes in the prevalence, composition, and location of high-poverty neighborhoods. The Century Foundation and Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education.

Protocol ID:

290201

Variables:
Export Variables
Variable Name Variable IDVariable DescriptiondbGaP Mapping
Social Determinants of Health
Measure Name:

Concentrated Poverty

Release Date:

May 11, 2020

Definition

Concentrated poverty is the percentage of households or people residing in census tracts or blocks where poverty is endemic. “While any specific threshold is arbitrary, 40 percent level has become the standard in the literature and has even been incorporated into federal data analysis and program rules” (Jargowsky, 2003).

Purpose

Concentrated poverty identifies geospatial areas such as census tracts, which can represent neighborhoods where high poverty households are prevalent and community resources are likely to be limited. 

Keywords

Concentration Index, Population Isolation, ACS, American Community Survey, Social Determinants of Health, U.S. Census