Key Facts Economically Disadvantaged of Towns
While Northern Virginia is known for having communities with some of the highest median incomes in the United States, we must recognize that there are segments of the community in need of assistance that live in one of the most prosperous regions in the country.
The Northern Virginia region has some of the highest household incomes in the United States. However, there are persons in poverty in the region, and their needs must be recognized and addressed. The poverty rate of all counties, cities, and incorporated towns in Northern Virginia are shown in the following graphs. The poverty rate is the ratio of the number of persons in poverty divided by the number of persons for whom poverty status was determined. Not everyone had their poverty status determined so this figure will be less than the total population.
About the Data and Data Interpretation
Poverty Rate data is sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Decennial Census and the American Community Survey from 2006 to the present. All jurisdictions in the United States are included in the Decennial Census and five-year American Community Survey estimates, including incorporated towns. The American Community Survey is a survey with a small sample size. Areas with small populations typically have a large margin of error in the data due to the survey sample size being small, while this is less of an issue the larger the population. The margin of error is shown in the popup that is displayed when hovering over a bar in the bar charts. The ACS estimates for small places are deemed unreliable if the margin of error is large. In addition to the margin of error, the accuracy of the American Community Survey data for an area can be gaged by evaluating the trend. If there is a large increase or decrease in the estimate from one time period to the next, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and the data should be used with caution.
As seen in the population charts, as of 2020, 9 of the 14 incorporated towns in Northern Virginia had a population of less than 3,000, which is considered small. Due to the small size of many towns, the poverty rate data of towns should be used with caution and the margin of error in the poverty rate should be taken into consideration.
A place is considered statistically similar to its characteristics of past years/periods if the margin of error causes the low and high range of today's estimate to overlap with the past years/periods. If the figures overlap, it cannot be said for certain that a figure is different than the prior year/period, even though the middle of the road estimate may be higher or lower. Estimates are considered statistically different if the estimate range does not overlap.
Poverty Rate - Current
2016 to 2020 Five-Year Estimates
The poverty rate of each Northern Virginia locality is lower than the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States, with the exception of the towns of Quantico and Dumfries. However, due to the large margin of error for both of these towns, these towns have poverty rates that are not statistically different than the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Poverty Rate - Historic Compared to Current
Due to the small size of many towns, the poverty rate data of towns should be used with caution and the margin of error of the poverty rate should be taken into consideration. If there is a large increase or decrease in the estimate from one time period to the next, and the margin of error is large and overlaps other periods, then the large change between time periods is likely due to statistical sampling error and the data should be used with caution.