Arbitrary boundaries

When you look at public data that includes income, you might notice that income brackets are often determined in relation to the federal poverty level, or FPL. (For 2015, the FPL is $11,770/year for one person and $24,250 for a family of 4.) Sometimes data will be broken out by 100% of the FPL, 200% FPL, and so on. In public health, we frequently look at people making up to 138% FPL, because that's the upper limit for Medicaid eligibility in states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Another one we see pretty often is 185% FPL, but I didn't know why - until today. 185% FPL is the upper income limit for people receiving WIC benefits. (WIC is the program that provides nutrition assistance for pregnant or recently pregnant women as well as very young children.)

(h/t to Nicole)