In the United States, the poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census. That number was up from 14.3 percent in 2009 and 12.5 percent in 2007.
Somerville's poverty rate is lower than the national average, but not by much. Also, at 14.7 percent, the percentage of people living in poverty in Somerville is greater than the statewide average, which is 10.5 percent.
The U.S. Census uses a number of "thresholds" to measure poverty, which you can find here. In the example given by the U.S. Census, using 2010 numbers, a family of five, with a mother, father, great aunt and two children living in the household, would be considered living in poverty if the family income were $26,675 or less.
How does Somerville compare to other communities in the area? By way of example, Boston's poverty rate was 21.2 percent, Cambridge's was 15 percent, Medford's was 8.3 percent, and Arlington's was 4.9 percent.
Here's a chart showing the poverty rates in Somerville and neighboring communities.Community Persons below poverty level, 2006-2010 Arlington 4.9 percent Boston 21.2 percent Cambridge 15 percent Chelsea 24.2 percent Everett 11.9 percent Lynnfield 4.1 percent Malden 12.8 percent Medford 8.3 percent Melrose 4.7 percent Reading 1.7 percent Revere 14.7 percent Saugus 5.1 percent Somerville 14.7 percent Stoneham 6.5 percent Wakefield 2.4 percent Winchester 2.5 percent Winthrop 10.2 percent Woburn 5.9 percent Massachusetts 10.5 percent