The Census Bureau releases two reports every year that describe who is poor in the United States. The first report calculates the nation’s official poverty measure based on cash resources. The second is known as the supplemental poverty measure (SPM) and takes account of cash resources and noncash benefits from government programs aimed at low income families.
Every census must adapt to the decade in which it is administered. New technologies emerge and change the way the U.S. Census Bureau collects and processes data. More importantly, changing lifestyles and emerging sensitivities among the people of the United States necessitate modifications to the questions that are asked. One of the most important changes for Census 2000 was the revision of the questions on race and Hispanic origin to better reflect the country’s growing diversity.