"Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015" I've found the gap problem. Marriage. Married couple households in 2014, $81,118; female headed households $36,193; male headed households $53,746. In 2015, it was $84,626; $37,797; and $55,861. I think that's a big jump for all groups, but obviously, married couples do better. Even with my math challenged thinking, I know that two earners will usually yield more income than one earner. I'm not sure why, but it seems to be in the best interest of government departments and agencies to expand poverty definitions, and there's a new one in the works which adds in all the government benefits instead of using wages/income and adjusts for geographic area. You would think that would lower poverty rates, but it seems to increase them. It's called Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM). Also, in the first four years of the Obama administration real poverty that lasted 48 months was only 2.7%. Most poverty rate measures are based on months.