The self-sufficiency standard is the amount of money a household must make in order to meet the basic standard of living without government assistance. This measure was created as an alternative to the federal poverty standard, which was created in 1965 and equated the basic standard of living to three times the cost for a household to afford the minimum amount of food and still survive. The self-sufficiency standard, which was created at the University of Washington, takes other factors besides diet into account, including housing and transportation costs.
According to the article, “In Between in California,” the self-sufficiency standard is based on individual household size, the age of household members, and the location. The original federal poverty measure did not account for the millions of people who live above the established poverty line but still could not afford basic needs. The new standard qualified many more people for government assistance.
For further reading: click here.