Overlooked and Undercounted

We envision an Indiana in which all Hoosiers can achieve and maintain financial well-being. Developing strategies to ensure that all households reach economic security requires data that defines how much is enough and which households are struggling. Unfortunately, traditional poverty measures do not accurately capture all who struggle to make ends meet. This report reveals the “overlooked and undercounted” of Indiana, describing which families can't meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. This analysis is based on the Self-Sufficiency Standard, a realistic, geographically specific, and family composition- specific measure of income adequacy, and thus a more accurate alternative to the official poverty measure. 

February 2023 | Download Report

Overlooked Cover


Video Overlooked

An Alternative to the Official Poverty Measure

Watch as one of the report authors, Lisa Manzer, discusses how the official poverty measure overlooks and undercounts many Indiana households.


Community Action Leaders Advocate for Indiana's Overlooked and Undercounted

"It is our belief that sharing this report can help increase the understanding of the difficulties faced by struggling individuals and families in our community. This shared understanding can enable all of us to address these challenges and make it possible for all households to meet their basic needs. More critical, it should better prepare and equip all of us to respond and engage in more productive and meaningful conversation about coming alongside and lending a hand to those seeking to escape the menace of poverty in our community." -Karla Fales, President and CEO of REAL Services Inc. | South Bend Tribune  Headshot of Karla Fales
"Lincoln Hills Development Corporation (LHDC), the designated community action agency for Crawford, Perry, and Spencer Counties, exists to reduce poverty and improve lives in the communities we serve. That mission begs the question: Do you know how poverty is measured? The dollar amounts the government uses to judge which households are in poverty and which are not — or poverty thresholds — were developed in 1963 using an economy food budget and multiplying it by three. They adjust that number for inflation each year, resulting in a measure that misses many Hoosiers struggling to meet their basic needs." -Randy Dennison, CEO of Lincoln Hills Development Corporation | Dubois County Herald Randy Dennison