Virginia Poverty Rate by County

Data Item State
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Persons below poverty level, percent, 2009-2013 - (Percent)
County Value
Accomack 20.5
Albemarle 10.2
Alexandria city 8.4
Alleghany 12.6
Amelia 8.3
Amherst 11.4
Appomattox 17.7
Arlington 8.0
Augusta 9.5
Bath 16.4
Bedford 8.2
Bedford city 18.7
Bland 16.6
Botetourt 7.7
Bristol city 21.0
Brunswick 24.0
Buchanan 25.9
Buckingham 23.0
Buena Vista city 20.6
Campbell 14.7
Caroline 12.7
Carroll 18.1
Charles City 11.8
Charlotte 17.9
Charlottesville city 27.5
Chesapeake city 8.5
Chesterfield 6.7
Clarke 6.7
Colonial Heights city 9.3
Covington city 21.3
Craig 8.7
Culpeper 9.1
Cumberland 16.3
Danville city 27.4
Dickenson 20.9
Dinwiddie 13.2
Emporia city 29.0
Essex 11.1
Fairfax 5.9
Fairfax city 7.2
Falls Church city 4.0
Fauquier 5.6
Floyd 12.7
Fluvanna 7.1
Franklin 14.0
Franklin city 23.0
Frederick 7.1
Fredericksburg city 18.6
Galax city 25.3
Giles 13.3
Gloucester 9.2
Goochland 5.6
Grayson 19.1
Greene 12.0
Greensville 21.6
Halifax 21.3
Hampton city 14.9
Hanover 5.1
Harrisonburg city 33.5
Henrico 10.7
Henry 17.1
Highland 10.2
Hopewell city 20.1
Isle of Wight 12.0
James City 8.7
King and Queen 9.2
King George 7.1
King William 9.5
Lancaster 11.7
Lee 26.8
Lexington city 25.2
Loudoun 3.6
Louisa 10.3
Lunenburg 22.6
Lynchburg city 24.7
Madison 13.3
Manassas city 11.7
Manassas Park city 7.0
Martinsville city 27.2
Mathews 10.1
Mecklenburg 19.6
Middlesex 9.4
Montgomery 24.5
Nelson 14.2
New Kent 5.9
Newport News city 15.2
Norfolk city 19.2
Northampton 24.3
Northumberland 11.1
Norton city 18.1
Nottoway 16.8
Orange 12.6
Page 15.1
Patrick 17.1
Petersburg city 26.7
Pittsylvania 14.5
Poquoson city 5.6
Portsmouth city 18.4
Powhatan 5.4
Prince Edward 19.8
Prince George 8.1
Prince William 6.3
Pulaski 13.9
Radford city 37.7
Rappahannock 10.8
Richmond 12.8
Richmond city 25.6
Roanoke 6.6
Roanoke city 22.4
Rockbridge 12.6
Rockingham 10.4
Russell 19.3
Salem city 11.7
Scott 18.3
Shenandoah 11.7
Smyth 18.4
Southampton 16.0
Spotsylvania 7.6
Stafford 5.1
Staunton city 18.0
Suffolk city 11.4
Surry 11.5
Sussex 15.3
Tazewell 18.3
Virginia Beach city 7.9
Warren 9.3
Washington 12.1
Waynesboro city 19.9
Westmoreland 12.9
Williamsburg city 19.5
Winchester city 20.1
Wise 21.9
Wythe 14.4
York 5.7

Value for Virginia (Percent): 11.3%

Data item: Persons below poverty level, percent, 2009-2013

Source: U. S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 5-Year Estimates. Updated every year.


Poverty statistics in ACS products adhere to the standards specified by the Office of Management and Budget in Statistical Policy Directive 14. The Census Bureau uses a set of dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. Further, poverty thresholds for people living alone or with nonrelatives (unrelated individuals) vary by age (under 65 years or 65 years and older). The poverty thresholds for two-person families also vary by the age of the householder. If a family's total income is less than the dollar value of the appropriate threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered to be in poverty. Similarly, if an unrelated individual's total income is less than the appropriate threshold, then that individual is considered to be in poverty.

How the Census Bureau Determines Poverty Status

Poverty status is determined by comparing annual income to a set of dollar values called poverty thresholds that vary by family size, number of children and age of householder. If a family's before tax money income is less than the dollar value of their threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered to be in poverty. For people not living in families, poverty status is determined by comparing the individual's income to his or her poverty threshold.

The poverty thresholds are updated annually to allow for changes in the cost of living using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U). They do not vary geographically. The ACS is a continuous survey and people respond throughout the year. Since income is reported for the previous 12 months, the appropriate poverty threshold for each family is determined by multiplying the base-year poverty threshold (1982) by the average of monthly CPI values for the 12 months preceding the survey month.

Scope and Methodology:

These data are collected in the American Community Survey (ACS). The data for each geographic area are presented together with margins of error at The data are period estimates, that is, they represent the characteristics of the population over a specific 60-month data collection period.

Since answers to income questions are frequently based on memory and not on records, many people tended to forget minor or sporadic sources of income and, therefore, underreport their income. Underreporting tends to be more pronounced for income sources that are not derived from earnings, such as public assistance, interest, dividends, and net rental income.

Margins of Error (MOE). ACS estimates are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. The degree of uncertainty for an estimate arising from sampling variability is represented through the use of a MOE. The MOE used with ACS estimates can be interpreted as providing a 90 percent probability that the interval defined by the estimate plus the MOE and the estimate minus the MOE (the upper and lower confidence bounds) contains the full population value of the estimate.

For example, suppose the 5-year ACS reported the percentage of people 25 years and older in Birmingham, Alabama who had a bachelor's degree was 21.3 percent and that the MOE associated with this estimate is plus or minus (+/-) 0.9 percent. By adding and subtracting the MOE from the estimate, we can calculate the 90-percent confidence interval for this estimate at 21.3%, +/-0.9%:

21.3% - 0.9% = 20.4% = Lower-bound estimate
21.3% + 0.9% = 22.2% = Upper-bound estimate

Therefore, we can be 90 percent confident that the percent of the population in Birmingham, Alabama of age 25 years and older having a bachelor's degree in 2007-2011 falls somewhere between 20.4 percent and 22.2 percent.

For this Fact and other 5-year Economic Characteristic Facts (listed below), their estimates and margins of error or percents and percent margins of errors can be found on Data Profile - Economic Characteristics. This profile is displayed by geography. Click on the link for "Browse for Data sets (geography picked)" near the top of the Quick facts profile page, click on the link for People QuickLinks/American Community Survey - "Economic Characteristics" for the data profile.

Mean travel time to work (minutes), workers age 16 and over;
Per capita money income in the past 12 months,
Median household income,
Persons below poverty level, percent

More Information: