HEIGHT Poverty Dashboard

Explore the gap between household expenses and income in Arizona

Household Expenditure and Income Gap Highlighter Tool (HEIGHT)

Analysts and policymakers often compare income to the federal poverty threshold to determine an individual's ability to obtain a certain standard of living. But the federal poverty measure, which is used to determine eligibility for many types of government assistance — does not account for living costs beyond a basic food budget. In the decades since the federal poverty measure was created, the costs of housing, transportation, child care and health care have risen far more rapidly than food costs, and even faster than wages. Furthermore, the national measure does not account for the regional variations in living costs, and these cost differentials in many neighborhoods, especially in Maricopa County, are significantly higher than state or national averages.


The HEIGHT Poverty Tool measures and visualizes the true costs of living at the county and neighborhood level, highlighting the emerging gap between household income and living costs as of the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020. The tool builds a living cost budget for various family sizes accounting for the costs of food, housing, health care, child care, transportation, taxes and other essential needs. Analyzing those local costs of living with the household’s income data, the tool determines how many families are struggling to meet basic living costs. This dashboard emphasizes poverty in families with different characteristics — whether the household includes children, whether the head of household is male or female, the number of adults in the household and ethnicity of householders — to enable communities to design interventions targeted to their specific needs.


Click here to read more about the data and methods used to create this tool.

Meet the Team

Research Design and Visualization
Sarbeswar Praharaj, Associate Director (Data & Visualization), Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (KER), ASU
Patricia Solís, Executive Director, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU
Elizabeth Wentz, Director and Principal Investigator, Knowledge Exchange for Resilience, ASU
Community Partners
Jayson Matthews, Vice President, Valley of the Sun United Way
Steve Torres, Valley of the Sun United Way
Natalia Ronceria Ceballos, Valley of the Sun United Way
Data Collection
Yash Vijay, Graduate Research Assistant, KER, ASU
Shakthi Bharathi Murugesan, Graduate Research Assistant, KER, ASU
Kevin Jatin Vora, Graduate Research Assistant, KER, ASU
For more information,
Partners and Acknowledgements