Accurate measurements of poverty are important for identifying and characterizing poor populations and for designing effective public policies to alleviate poverty. Unfortunately, there is no perfect way of measuring poverty despite the new and sophisticated statistical and econometric techniques. Usually, cross-sectional data compiled from surveys are adjusted for family size, composition, and age and then used to set a threshold level of income or “poverty line” below which families and individuals are categorized as poor. A family is defined as people living together who are related by either blood or marriage.

The “food-ratio poverty line” is one of the common ways of defining poverty. In the United States, the food-ratio poverty line is calculated using the proportion of income spent on food. This method was ...

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