Cohabiting Couples and Their Money
D’Vera Cohn | Pew Social & Demographic Trends
November 22, 2011
This note discusses how the new alternative measure of poverty released by the Census Bureau treats cohabiting couples.
Under the traditional measure of poverty, unmarried couples who live together are counted as separate units. Under the alternative metric, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the assumption is that cohabiting couples pool their funds and share expenses just as married couples do. The result: A lower share of cohabiting couples is considered poor under the alternative metric than under the official measure.