Washington County, Oregon


The American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates on the population living below federal poverty level in Washington County each year. Understanding the poverty statistics of Washington County’s population is vital for allocating resources for school, health care, and other social services. The American Community Survey uses the federal poverty line threshold to determine poverty status for families and individuals.

Unlike the Census—which is an exact count of people and households every ten years—ACS statistics are estimated based on a representative survey sample. This report uses ACS 5-year estimates for Washington County poverty data, rather than single-year periods. The 5-year estimates provide greater geographical granularity and accuracy, with a less granular time period.

How is poverty defined?

In 2018, the federal poverty income threshold was $25,465 for a family of four with two children, and $17,308 for a single parent of one child. If a family's total income is less than the corresponding threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty. An individual is considered as in poverty if their income within the last 12 months was below poverty level. 

Poverty is an extreme condition. The National Center for Children in Poverty reported that the level of income families typically require to make ends meet is nearly twice the federal poverty thresholds. While the poverty thresholds are adjusted each year based on inflation, they do not reflect regional differences in cost of living: the poverty thresholds are the same everywhere in the United States. The Census states: "Although the thresholds in some sense reflect a family’s needs, they are intended for use as a statistical yardstick, not as a complete description of what people and families need to live."

How many adults live in poverty in Washington County?

Note: Please use the time slider beneath the charts to view data from different time periods. 

How many children in Washington County live in poverty?

How does poverty status intersect school enrollment?

How educated are Washington County adults living below poverty?

Education refers to the highest level of schooling attained.

How many Washington County residents living in poverty worked during the past year?

What languages are spoken by Washington County residents in poverty?

Indo-European languages include a huge swath of spoken languages, ranging from French to Farsi, along with the many languages spoken on the Indian subcontinent. (English and Spanish are also Indo-European languages, but are recorded in separate categories.) Asian and Pacific Island languages include Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, and languages spoken by indigenous people of Australia along with other Pacific cultures. The Other language category includes Afro-Asiatic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew, as well as Native American languages.

Washington County residents in poverty speak primarily only English (43% adults, 63% children) and Spanish (46% adults, 23% children). Other languages include Asian and Pacific Island (6% adults, 7% children), Indo-European (1% adults, 4% children), and other languages (3% adults, 2% children).

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The United States Department of Agriculture administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This program, previously known as food stamps, is designed to help guarantee low-income households and individuals access to a basic level of nutrition. 

In {county} and throughout the country, SNAP households are a major focus of the American Community Survey (ACS), conducted each year by the U.S. Census Bureau. A household in {county} is a group of people living in a house, apartment, or other housing unit. Households may be family households or non-family households. 

How many SNAP households live below poverty level?

The federal poverty threshold is set each year by the Census Bureau. The threshold varies based on family size, but does not vary from location to location. 

How does the median income of Washington County SNAP households compare to Oregon and U.S. households?

How many households with children receive SNAP?

Additional Resources

 Washington County Issues of Poverty (2019) | Community Action

About the Data

Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates. The following tables are used: Total Population in Poverty: Table B17001; Poverty by Sex and Age: Table B17001; School Enrollment: Table B14006; Poverty by Education: Table B17003; Poverty by Work: Table B17004; Language by Poverty Status and Age: Table B16009; Households received Food Stamps/SNAP: Table B22003; SNAP Households with Children: Table B22002; SNAP Households Poverty Status: Table B22003; SNAP Households Median Household Income: Table B22008.

This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.