Urban Fold

What is Poverty? Accounting for the True Expense of City Life

At $23,550, the federal poverty line is a blunt instrument used to measure the nuances of affordability. A tool provided by the Economic Policy Institute shows how much more a family needs to make for a modicum of security in cities across the U.S.

"The Economic Policy Institute offers a more comprehensive calculator, one that was recently updated for 2013 and that now includes 600 communities across the country and six family types," reports Emily Badger. "The EPI Family Budget Calculator includes geographically adjusted costs for housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, other necessities, and taxes, in search of what it takes to achieve a 'secure yet modest living standard.'"

"The numbers that come out the other end don't look anything like the federal poverty line. How much does a two-parent, two-child household in New York City need? $93,502."

Full Story: The Insane, True Costs of Raising a Family in America's Major Metros

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