Recently issued federal poverty guidelines establish the 2012 definition of poverty in America.
Bottom line, it’s easier this year than last for families to qualify as poor and thus be eligible for state and federal government assistance programs, at least from the standpoint of income.
The down side? The U.S. Census last year reported an 11 percent increase in the cost of living in Minneapolis.
This year a hypothetical family of one adult and two children making an annual income of $19,090 or less is now officially poor, compared to the 2011 definition of poor for that family being $18,530.
To put that in perspective, realize it figures out to one adult earner working full time for $9.17 an hour — about the cost of three tall lattes from Starbucks.