October 19th, 2015
1 in 6 Oklahomans lived in poverty in 2014 (623,840 people).
What is the Federal Poverty Level?
The federal poverty level was first established in 1965 and was set at three times the cost of a basic food plan. The level is adjusted annually for inflation. It is widely accepted that the federal poverty level does not accurately reflect the amount of income needed to meet one’s basic needs, but it is used to determine eligibility for various public programs and benefits, including Medicaid, health insurance premium tax credits, the free- and reduced- school lunch program, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and many others. Poverty rates do not account for the benefits of nutrition programs like SNAP or after-tax income like the Earned Income Tax Credit, but they do provide an estimate of how many Oklahomans are struggling most to receive income in the private economy.
2014 Federal Poverty Guidelines
Poverty rates in Oklahoma remain above the national average.
Households headed by single mothers are the largest segment of families in poverty, but many married-couple households also remain in poverty.
Many Oklahomans living in poverty worked at least part-time.