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.
Melrose's poverty rate is lower than the national average and than Arlington, Stoneham and Saugus, but higher than Reading, Wakefield and Winchester. At 4.7 percent, the percentage of people living in poverty in Melrose is almost 6 percent lower than the Massachusetts 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 Melrose compare to other communities in the area? Here's a chart showing the poverty rates in Melrose and neighboring communities. Also, watch the video map above to see poverty rate trends by state across the U.S. from 1980 to 2010.CommunityPersons below poverty level, 2006-2010Arlington 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 percentSomerville14.7 percentStoneham 6.5 percent Wakefield 2.4 percent Winchester 2.5 percent Winthrop 10.2 percent Woburn 5.9 percentMassachusetts10.5 percent