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SPM unit's new family status

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SPMNEWFAM indicates whether a family unit used to calculate the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) differs from the unit used to calculate the official poverty measure.

The official poverty measure defines families as persons related to the householder by blood, marriage, or adoption. Among persons unrelated to the householder, the only family relationships recognized by the official poverty measure are those between married couples or between unmarried children under 18 and one unmarried parent or two married parents. The SPM makes a number of changes to this family definition. The most significant change is to treat cohabiting partners as members of the same family. All children under age 15 with no identifiable relatives in the household and all foster children under age 22 are included in the SPM family of the householder. In addition, if a person resides with two parents who are neither married nor cohabiting, both parents and their child are included in the same SPM family unit. Finally, individuals unrelated to the household head, but who are known to be related to one another (through parental, spousal, or cohabiting relationships) are now also included in the same SPM resource unit regardless of the age or marital status.

Among new family units, SPMNEWFAM identifies the reason for the change in family definitions: the presence of cohabiting partner, the presence of an unrelated person under age 15, the presence of a newly identified parent in the household; the presence of a foster child age 15-21; or a change occurring for multiple reasons. A handful of new family units are not currently identified.

SPM family units are uniquely identified in SPMFAMUNIT.


SPMNEWFAM is comparable across years.


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2010 – 2018 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

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