The federal poverty level is a guideline for program eligibility across the country. It is not necessarily an indicator for family economic well-being. The cost of basic needs such as housing, transportation and health care are an ongoing issue for Vermonters. Every two years the Joint Fiscal Office puts out a Basic Needs Budget, detailing the earnings necessary to live in Vermont. The 2018 Basic Needs Budget calculates that a two-adult two-child household with both adults working would need to make $84,736, (or $20.37 per hour per wage earner in 2018) to meet their household needs. This is almost double the income of two adults making minimum wage ($10.78 in Vermont) [1].

The full Basic Needs Budget report is available from the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office.

Return to the Table of Contents for the 2019 How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families? report.

1. Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office. (2019). Basic Needs Budgets and the Livable Wage p. 16.