Research suggests that, on average, families need an income of about twice the federal poverty level to meet their most basic needs. Children living in families with incomes below this level—$44,700 for a family of four in 2011—are referred to as low income. The United States measures poverty by an outdated standard developed in the 1960s. Children in Arizona, by Income Level, 2011. In Arizona, there are 772,145 families with 1,574,800 children.