Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone is not enough to produce widely shared prosperity.
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The Self Sufficiency Standard Studies

The Self-Sufficiency Standard studies provide a no-frills, bare-bones cost of living, on a localized basis, for several configurations of families. They account for the expenses associated with having all the adults in a household employed, and for the local tax structure.

About the Studies: methodology, cost categories, assumptions, links to the studies

The Detail Tables: updated November 2006 to include 2006 studies for Virginia and Pennsylvania

Abbreviated Summary Table, for a family of four, with population, homeownership rate, poverty rate

Full Summary Table: total costs for 1, 2, 3 and 4-person households; cost of adding a preschooler to a single adult; cost of adding a spouse to a 3-person household; population; homeownership rate, median value of owner-occupied housing, number of households, median household income, poverty rate; updated 2BR FMR.

Low-Cost Counties Table showing the Self-Sufficiency Standard in the least expensive counties in each state, as a percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline.

Possible Weaknesses for research purposes

The SSS Questions — some things to be thinking about as you read the tables here.


Census Data: Income to Poverty Ratios — how many of us live with incomes of less than 100%, 125%, 150%, 175%, 185%, 200%, 250% and 300% of the Federal Poverty Guideline, 2004?

Life below the Self-Sufficiency Standard Level


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Wealth and Want
... because democracy alone hasn't yet led to a society in which all can prosper