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This report shows the number and percentage of Vermont family households with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) represents the official threshold for living in poverty by household size and is set by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services each year. 

FPL is used to determine eligibility for many programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), 3SquaresVT, and the Child Care Financial Assistance Program (CCFAP). FPL should not be confused with an inability to meet basic needs due to financial constraints. 

This report uses data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), an ongoing, national survey. The ACS replaces the Decennial Census “long form” and is now the only source for Census Bureau data on topics such as ancestry, educational attainment, income, spoken languages, migration, disability, employment, and housing features.

Vermont Insights uses 5-year ACS estimates to increase the reliability of the data for all geographic areas.

For more information on the ACS, including sampling and response rates for Vermont, see:

In order to calculate the percentage of Vermont family households with incomes at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, the numerator of families in poverty was divided by the denominator of all families.

For complete information on the limitations of ACS data, go to

Some considerations when using and interpreting the ACS data include:

ACS estimates represent the conditions that might have been present at any time within the estimate time period. ACS estimates should only be compared with like estimates. For example, 1-year data can only be compared with other 1-year data and cannot be compared with 3- or 5-year data.

If using the ACS for longitudinal analysis (comparisons over time), multi-year estimates should not overlap.