Low income

  • Measured in various ways for different services,
  • By % of Area median income (AMI)
    • A measurement used to determine who qualifies as “low income”. Area median income is the income level at which 50% of households fall above it, and 50% of households fall below in a given geographical area.
    • In Washington many housing subsidies are available for people making under 30% of AMI. For King and Snohomish Counties, AMI is $88,000, which would mean 30% of AMI is a household income of $26,400.
    • Most programs using % of AMI to determine eligibility scale their calculation by family size, using a 4-person family as the “average”—so 100% of AMI for a 4-person family is the AMI for the region, and 50% for a 4-person family is 50% of the AMI for the region.
  • Federal Poverty Level
    • Scaled by family size, does not take into account the difference in cost-of-living in different areas of the country. For example, a household of four with an income of $44,000/year is making 200% of the federal poverty level, but only 50% of the AMI for King County.

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