The State of America's Children® 2020

Child Poverty

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The State of America’s Children 2020 – Child Poverty Tables2020-02-19T12:34:11-05:00

Table 2: Poor Children in America in 2018—A Portrait

Number Who Are Poor Percent Who Are Poor Percent of Poor Children Who Are:
Among All Children 11,869,000 16.2% 100%
     Extremely Poor 5,042,000 6.9 42.5
     Under 6 4,080,000 17.4 34.4
     Under 6 and Extremely Poor 1,814,000 7.7 15.3
By Race/Ethnicity
White 3,265,000 8.9 27.5
Hispanic 4,436,000 23.7 37.4
Black 3,043,000 30.1 25.6
Asian 436,000 11.4 3.7
American Indian/Alaskan Native 194,000 29.1 1.6
Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander 30,000 12.4 0.3
Two or more races 466,000 15.0 3.9
By Geography
In Cities > 50,000 4,818,000 20.7 40.6
In Suburbs 5,187,000 12.8 43.7
Outside Cities and Suburbs 1,866,000 20.0 15.7
By Region
Northeast 1,602,000 13.9 13.5
Midwest 2,177,000 14.1 18.3
South 5,358,000 18.9 45.1
West 2,734,000 15.3 23.0
By Family Structure
In Single Parent Family 7,698,000 34.1 66.8a
In Married Couple Family 3,820,000 7.6 33.2a
By Family Working Status
Any Family Member Works 8,075,000 11.8 70.3b
Works Full-Time, Year Round 4,048,000 6.9 35.2b
Head of Family Works 6,448,000 11.1 56.1b
Works Full-Time, Year Round 2,775,000 6.3 24.1b
Adults 18-64 21,130,000 10.7
Seniors 65+ 5,146,000 9.7

a Percentages calculated relative to the number of poor children related to the head of household (11,519,000) rather than the total number of poor children (11,869,000).

b Percentages calculated relative to the number of poor children in related families (11,491,000) rather than the total number of poor children (11,869,000).
Notes: A family of four was considered poor in 2018 with an annual income below $25,701 and extremely poor with an income below half that amount ($12,851). Poverty estimates differ based on the source of the Census data. Census data on poverty is collected through both the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS provides the most accurate national data on poverty and is therefore the official source of national poverty estimates. The ACS uses a larger sample size and is therefore preferred for state-level poverty data. All racial categories exclude children of Hispanic ethnicity. Hispanic children can be of any race.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. 2019. “2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement,” Tables B-1, POV01, POV03, POV07, POV13, POV21, POV40. https://www.census.gov/topics/income-poverty/data/tables.html. Additional customized tables generated using Data Ferrett. https://dataferrett.census.gov/.

Table 3: Federal Poverty Thresholds and Guidelines, 2018

Federal Poverty Thresholdsa
Poverty (100 Percent) Extreme Poverty (50 Percent)
Family Size Per Year Per Month Per Week Per Year Per Month Per Week
1 $12,784 $1,065 $246 $6,392 $533 $123
2 16,247 1,354 312 8,124 677 156
3 19,985 1,665 384 9,993 833 192
4 25,701 2,142 494 12,851 1,071 247
5 30,459 2,538 586 15,230 1,269 293
6 34,533 2,878 664 17,267 1,439 332
7 39,194 3,266 754 19,597 1,633 377
8 43,602 3,634 839 21,801 1,817 419
9 or More 51,393 4,283 988 25,697 2,141 494
 Federal Poverty Guidelinesb
Family Size Poverty
1 $12,140
2 16,460
3 20,780
4 25,100
5 29,420
6 33,740
7 38,060
8 42,380
Each Additional Person beyond 8 4,320

a The federal poverty thresholds are used to calculate those who are considered poor and extremely poor. The poverty threshold numbers in the table are weighted averages of the actual thresholds. The actual poverty thresholds vary slightly based on the number of children and, for households of size one and two, whether the houshold includes someone over 64. Except for Alaska and Hawaii, which have slightly higher thresholds, no adjustments are made for differences in living costs from state to state. Extreme poverty is defined as half of the poverty thresholds.

b The federal poverty guidelines (also called the Federal Poverty Level) are a simplification of the poverty thresholds used to determine eligibility for public benefits and are adjusted annually to account for inflation.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau. 2019. “Poverty Thresholds for 2018 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years.” https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-poverty-thresholds.html; U.S Department of Health and Human Services. 2018. “Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines.” Federal Register 83 (12). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-01-18/pdf/2018-00814.pdf.

Table 4: Poor and Extremely Poor Children by Age, 2018

Poor Children Extremely Poor Children
Under 18 Under 6 Under 18 Under 6
State Number Percent  Rank* Number Percent  Rank* Number Percent  Rank* Number Percent  Rank*
Alabama 255,186 23.8% 45 86,566 25.7% 44 120,818 11.3% 47       42,208 12.6% 45
Alaska 25,327 14.1 17 9,969 16.1 18 10,730 6.0 18         4,259 6.9 15
Arizona 324,622 20.1 37 112,703 22.0 38 130,355 8.1 32       43,371 8.5 27
Arkansas 170,769 24.7 47 62,148 28.1 47 67,076 9.7 42       25,008 11.3 42
California 1,541,067 17.4 27 499,726 17.5 22 660,745 7.5 26     218,690 7.7 19
Colorado 149,487 11.9 6 47,864 12.0 4 65,141 5.2 5       22,650 5.7 4
Connecticut 102,083 14.1 17 33,200 15.6 15 43,578 6.0 18       16,657 7.8 21
Delaware 37,283 18.7 33 11,975 19.7 31 15,089 7.6 27         4,963 8.2 23
District of Columbia 29,048 23.1 10,602 20.4 19,460 15.5         7,822 15.1
Florida 819,256 19.7 36 285,014 21.4 34 339,849 8.2 33     126,656 9.5 33
Georgia 504,745 20.5 39 162,624 21.5 36 217,351 8.8 36       74,586 9.9 35
Hawaii 35,368 11.9 6 14,764 14.8 10 17,501 5.9 13         7,146 7.2 17
Idaho 62,855 14.3 19 22,113 16.2 19 24,461 5.6 10         7,833 5.7 4
Illinois 456,925 16.2 24 157,431 17.7 24 195,672 6.9 23       68,033 7.7 19
Indiana 275,370 18.0 29 94,018 19.3 30 121,658 7.9 31       44,461 9.1 32
Iowa 97,222 13.5 12 34,687 14.8 10 38,550 5.4 6       15,184 6.5 12
Kansas 103,210 14.9 21 36,471 16.7 20 40,871 5.9 13       15,348 7.0 16
Kentucky 225,710 23.0 44 78,105 24.6 42 107,874 11.0 46       39,875 12.6 45
Louisiana 283,218 26.2 48 105,057 29.4 49 125,971 11.6 48       53,279 14.9 48
Maine 34,878 14.5 20 12,088 15.8 16 14,824 6.2 20         4,541 5.9 8
Maryland 152,237 11.6 4 50,853 12.0 4 78,102 5.9 13       25,540 6.0 9
Massachusetts 163,788 12.2 9 55,054 13.1 9 74,234 5.5 8       26,377 6.3 11
Michigan 412,692 19.4 34 146,625 21.7 37 196,555 9.3 40       74,766 11.1 41
Minnesota 149,502 11.7 5 50,687 12.1 6 59,931 4.7 2       21,277 5.1 2
Mississippi 192,952 27.8 50 63,291 29.9 50 99,248 14.3 50       35,976 17.0 50
Missouri 247,209 18.3 31 86,502 20.0 33 104,072 7.7 28       36,949 8.5 27
Montana 35,999 16.0 23 12,705 17.5 22 15,653 7.0 24         6,007 8.3 24
Nebraska 60,110 12.9 11 23,333 15.0 12 22,326 4.8 4         9,064 5.8 7
Nevada 120,091 17.7 28 40,675 18.7 29 47,871 7.1 25       17,933 8.3 24
New Hampshire 26,830 10.6 3 9,133 12.3 7 13,953 5.5 8         4,519 6.1 10
New Jersey 264,253 13.7 13 93,795 15.3 14 113,607 5.9 13       39,514 6.5 12
New Mexico 124,024 26.3 49 39,551 28.5 48 61,940 13.2 49       21,882 15.8 49
New York 743,024 18.6 32 260,122 19.7 31 342,077 8.6 35     119,078 9.0 30
North Carolina 455,971 20.2 38 151,033 21.4 34 199,530 8.8 36       71,526 10.1 36
North Dakota 17,145 9.9 2 7,026 11.4 3 8,057 4.7 2         4,046 6.6 14
Ohio 495,616 19.5 35 180,837 22.3 39 224,393 8.8 36       88,189 10.9 40
Oklahoma 202,779 21.7 41 74,578 24.6 42 93,310 10.0 44       37,027 12.2 44
Oregon 134,383 15.7 22 45,303 16.8 21 58,552 6.8 22       22,702 8.4 26
Pennsylvania 434,736 16.8 26 145,986 17.8 25 201,962 7.8 29       70,171 8.5 27
Rhode Island 36,135 18.0 29 12,188 18.5 28 16,505 8.2 33         6,475 9.8 34
South Carolina 245,821 22.6 43 81,557 24.0 41 104,556 9.6 41       35,834 10.5 39
South Dakota 34,201 16.4 25 12,872 18.3 27 16,347 7.8 29         7,091 10.1 36
Tennessee 330,998 22.3 42 124,371 26.2 45 147,449 9.9 43       61,233 12.9 47
Texas 1,545,362 21.1 40 532,053 22.5 40 664,605 9.1 39     240,007 10.1 36
Utah 87,445 9.5 1 29,870 10.1 1 36,239 3.9 1       13,416 4.5 1
Vermont 13,712 12.1 8 3,957 11.3 2 6,545 5.8 11         1,842 5.3 3
Virginia 252,475 13.7 13 89,468 15.1 13 122,826 6.7 21       46,354 7.8 21
Washington 204,470 12.5 10 70,078 12.9 8 87,912 5.4 6       31,048 5.7 4
West Virginia 86,713 24.5 46 29,548 27.0 46 38,116 10.8 45       12,919 11.8 43
Wisconsin 175,243 14.0 16 62,370 15.9 17 74,025 5.9 13       28,140 7.2 17
Wyoming 17,986 13.8 15 7,308 17.8 25 7,500 5.8 11         3,699 9.0 30
United States 11,869,173 16.2% 4,079,701 17.4%  5,041,848 6.9%   1,813,924 7.7%

* States are ranked 1 to 50 with 1 meaning the lowest child poverty rate and 50 meaning the highest child poverty rate.

Notes: Poverty estimates differ based on the sources of Census data. Census data on poverty is collected through both the American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS provides the most accurate national data on poverty and is therefore the official source of national poverty estimates. The ACS uses a larger sample size and is preferred for state-level poverty data.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau. 2019. “2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates,” Tables B17020 and B17024. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. 2019. “2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.” Accessed using Data Ferrett. https://dataferrett.census.gov/.

Table 5: Number of Poor Children by Race/Ethnicity, 2018

White Hispanic Black Asian/Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander American Indian/Alaska Native Two or More Races
Alabama           80,588           31,091          129,984                    973                966           13,036
Alaska             6,470             1,822             1,035                  3,243             9,672             3,711
Arizona           60,754          190,993           22,913                  3,186           42,590           23,781
Arkansas           74,039           28,199           53,493                  3,856             1,396           14,312
California          206,819       1,054,493          135,493              101,304           12,937          103,452
Colorado           51,608           72,932           14,634                  3,300             2,709           12,378
Connecticut           22,460           54,406           23,215                  2,020  n/a             9,536
Delaware             7,473           10,060           17,294                    793  n/a             2,888
District of Columbia                978             2,894           24,684                    138  n/a                570
Florida          200,509          320,015          267,000                10,592             2,609           44,777
Georgia          121,486          108,682          241,473                  7,898             2,708           31,426
Hawaii             4,119             7,587                167                11,539  n/a           18,079
Idaho           35,273           23,200  n/a                    364             1,609             4,554
Illinois          131,003          143,300          150,579                12,648             1,077           28,360
Indiana          135,906           46,804           66,009                  6,600                503           25,750
Iowa           52,388           18,485           15,432                  1,143                414           10,813
Kansas           46,418           31,145           14,224                  1,702             1,977           11,835
Kentucky          156,060           19,184           33,704                  1,997  n/a           14,408
Louisiana           77,256           21,794          170,486                  1,292             1,020           13,390
Maine           29,503             1,484             1,035  n/a                843             1,928
Maryland           31,409           29,040           76,906                  4,942  n/a             8,970
Massachusetts           46,446           77,029           29,269                  8,534  n/a           15,391
Michigan          195,930           46,855          129,791                  9,376             3,028           35,512
Minnesota           54,191           26,508           41,375                11,845             7,267           12,454
Mississippi           46,471           10,421          127,068                  1,242             2,184             6,567
Missouri          135,555           24,155           68,654                    837                809           18,439
Montana           22,731             1,680  n/a  n/a             9,234             2,402
Nebraska           26,309           19,720             7,650                    841             1,956             5,060
Nevada           20,327           63,812           20,430                  3,422             3,980           12,722
New Hampshire           18,771             4,932             2,070                    745  n/a             1,291
New Jersey           61,077          123,273           63,397                12,940                381           11,855
New Mexico           16,075           85,490             1,695                  1,050           22,612             5,933
New York          227,107          279,488          176,774                49,509             4,280           50,157
North Carolina          133,366          126,207          157,745                10,544             6,326           30,182
North Dakota             8,028             1,308 2,857  n/a             4,504                702
Ohio          246,259           46,879          153,136                  6,289                979           50,937
Oklahoma           74,942           50,482           31,215                  2,725           21,278           28,903
Oregon           67,055           45,828             5,463                  3,007             3,082           11,112
Pennsylvania          173,235          109,795          122,209                12,631                661           35,580
Rhode Island             9,985           18,901             3,965                  1,366  n/a             2,697
South Carolina           67,175           37,684          124,892                  1,211             1,342           16,568
South Dakota           11,444             3,031  n/a  n/a           17,523             2,989
Tennessee          147,692           44,461          115,403                  3,523             1,315           20,017
Texas          205,226       1,045,675          245,428                33,260             7,128           54,070
Utah           44,004           30,241             3,347                  2,450             3,560             4,725
Vermont           11,570                797  n/a  n/a  n/a                806
Virginia           87,795           41,652           96,880                  8,725                520           19,373
Washington           76,880           72,371           19,136                12,758             5,490           26,322
West Virginia           73,590             1,503             4,852  n/a  n/a             5,933
Wisconsin           76,863           31,125           46,404                  6,652             3,961           13,898
Wyoming           11,553             5,457  n/a n/a             1,754  n/a
United States       3,264,566       4,436,361       3,042,507              465,808          194,367          465,565

Notes: Poverty estimates differ based on the source of Census data. Census data on poverty is collected through both the American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS provides the most accurate national data on poverty and is therefore the official source of national poverty estimates. The ACS uses a larger sample size and is preferred for state-level poverty data. For national estimates, all racial categories exclude children of Hispanic ethnicity. For state estimates, only the “White” racial category excludes children of Hispanic ethnicity. Hispanic children can be of any race. “N/A” means data were not available.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau. 2019. “2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates,” Tables B17020B-I. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. 2019. “2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.” Accessed using Data Ferrett. https://dataferrett.census.gov/.

Table 6: Percent of Poor Children by Race/Ethnicity, 2018

White Hispanic Black Asian/ Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander American Indian/Alaska Native Two or More Races
Alabama 13.1 37.7 41.1 6.9 22.3 30.7
Alaska 7.4 10.4 16.3 26.9 27.8 13.2
Arizona 9.7 26.6 26.4 7.5 43.9 19.5
Arkansas 17.1 32.6 44.9 28.7 29.2 34.0
California 9.2 22.8 28.4 9.7 20.3 12.2
Colorado 7.4 18.6 26.2 9.1 24.1 12.3
Connecticut 5.7 30.5 24.9 5.9 n/a 16.5
Delaware 7.7 31.9 32.3 9.5 n/a 24.5
District of Columbia 3.5 13.5 35.7 8.8 n/a 6.9
Florida 11.7 24.1 21.4 10.1 22.7 17.0
Georgia 11.4 29.6 29.4 8.3 27.6 23.4
Hawaii 9.8 14.1 3.6 10.6 n/a 14.1
Idaho 10.7 28.6 n/a 7.4 24.2 20.5
Illinois 9.1 20.4 35.4 9.1 13.8 17.6
Indiana 12.6 27.2 37.8 20.3 19.1 28.6
Iowa 9.4 25.3 40.8 6.7 14.8 28.9
Kansas 10.1 24.7 32.4 10.3 31.9 22.7
Kentucky 20.2 33.1 41.8 13.1 n/a 26.3
Louisiana 14.1 29.5 43.2 8.9 16.5 25.0
Maine 13.8 25.6 17.6 n/a 34.6 17.5
Maryland 5.8 13.9 19.1 6.6 n/a 8.9
Massachusetts 5.8 30.1 22.4 9.4 n/a 15.8
Michigan 13.8 26.4 38.2 14.0 25.4 26.6
Minnesota 6.2 23.4 33.4 16.5 39.4 14.3
Mississippi 13.7 34.4 43.2 25.4 60.1 27.3
Missouri 13.9 26.8 39.1 3.5 17.0 21.5
Montana 12.9 11.2 n/a n/a 41.7 18.9
Nebraska 8.2 24.3 30.0 8.3 30.4 16.8
Nevada 8.7 22.9 29.6 8.2 37.2 17.8
New Hampshire 8.8 30.7 37.4 9.4 n/a 10.3
New Jersey 6.9 23.2 23.2 6.9 9.6 11.1
New Mexico 14.3 30.0 21.3 17.0 41.1 21.2
New York 11.9 28.1 26.7 16.5 23.3 19.5
North Carolina 11.4 33.5 31.2 14.9 22.9 21.5
North Dakota 6.0 14.6 40.2 n/a 31.7 9.2
Ohio 13.6 29.7 42.4 10.9 21.1 28.1
Oklahoma 15.2 30.9 42.2 15.0 24.7 23.3
Oregon 12.5 23.9 26.4 8.8 31.2 14.8
Pennsylvania 10.1 33.8 35.0 13.2 13.5 22.8
Rhode Island 8.7 36.4 21.5 21.9 n/a 22.2
South Carolina 11.4 36.6 38.8 7.5 23.2 27.7
South Dakota 7.6 27.0 n/a n/a 60.1 26.6
Tennessee 15.4 30.8 40.4 13.8 40.7 26.2
Texas 9.0 28.8 27.3 10.3 18.2 16.0
Utah 6.5 18.7 25.3 19.9 35.3 9.2
Vermont 11.5 27.3 n/a n/a n/a 17.0
Virginia 9.0 16.2 27.1 7.7 12.3 12.0
Washington 8.4 20.7 26.5 10.0 23.0 13.4
West Virginia 23.3 21.6 39.1 n/a n/a 38.2
Wisconsin 8.7 21.0 42.4 15.7 31.2 19.3
Wyoming 11.3 28.8 n/a n/a 32.0 n/a
United States 8.9% 23.7% 30.1% 11.4% 29.1% 15.0%

Notes: Poverty estimates differ based on the source of Census data. Census data on poverty is collected through both the American Community Survey (ACS) and Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS provides the most accurate national data on poverty and is therefore the official source of national poverty estimates. The ACS uses a larger sample size and is preferred for state-level poverty data. For national estimates, all racial categories exclude children of Hispanic ethnicity. For state estimates, only the “White” racial category excludes children of Hispanic ethnicity. Hispanic children can be of any race. “N/A” means data were not available.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau. 2019. “2018 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates,” Tables B17020B-I. https://data.census.gov/cedsci/; U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. 2019. “2018 Annual Social and Economic Supplement.” Accessed using Data Ferrett. ttps://dataferrett.census.gov/.