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The poverty line, which is also sometimes called the poverty threshold, is the smallest amount of money a person or a family needs to live on; to buy what is needed. People who are below this line are classified as poor. This line is used to decide who can get extra help with things like food, shelter or medical care. There is a poverty line based on the income and another based on consumption levels.
The poverty line is not the same in all countries. It can be decided by the economy. In the United States, the poverty line is different depending on how many people there are in a family. This is because it costs more to buy food and supplies for more people. So, for example, it is higher in a family with eight people than in a family with three people.