Did You Know? Paying Attention to Child Poverty
Every day we hear about another economic indicator, another predicator about whether the economy is up or down, in recovery or in decline. But we don't hear about a more pressing indicator of our national health: the poverty status of our children.The following key facts are from the U.S. Census Bureau's national estimates of income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in 2010. Read our commentary on child poverty here.
Key Facts about Children Under Age 18
- Poverty for children under 18 increased from 20.7 percent in 2009 to 22.0 percent in 2010, with 950,000 more children living in poverty in 2010.
- More than 32,000 children, 43.6 percent, lived below 200 percent of poverty in 2010.
- Poverty rates for children were higher than the rates for any other age group.
- While children accounted for 24 percent of the overall population, they accounted for 31 percent of people with income below 200 percent of poverty, 35 percent of people with income below 100 percent of poverty, and 36 percent of the people with income below 50 percent of poverty.
- Fourteen percent of children living in families with at least one worker were poor.
- Children live in families that rely on public assistance:
- 46 percent of children live with someone who receives some type of means-tested assistance;
- 21 percent of children live with someone who receives food stamps; and
- 38 percent of children live with someone who is covered by Medicaid.
Key Facts about Young Children Under Age 5
- Poverty for young children under 5 increased from 24.5 percent in 2009 to 25.9 percent in 2010, with 256,000 more young children living in poverty in 2010.
- More than 10,000 young children, 47.7 percent, lived below 200 percent of poverty in 2010.
- Poor young children by race: 44 percent of young Black children, 38 percent of young Hispanic children, 15 percent of young Asian children, and 15 percent of young White (non-Hispanic) children were poor in 2010.
- Poor low-income children by race: 68 percent of young Black children, 67 percent of young Hispanic children, 34 percent of young Asian children, and 32 percent of young White (non-Hispanic) children were low-income (under 200 percent of poverty) in 2010.
- Poverty status by single year of age:
- 0 years, 26.8
- 1 year, 26.1
- 2 years, 25.3
- 3 years, 27.2
- 4 years, 24
- 5 years, 25.3
- Health insurance coverage of children under age 6:
- 9 percent of all young children and 13 percent of poor young children were uninsured in 2010.
- 44 percent of all young children and 79 percent of poor young children were covered by a government health insurance plan in 2010.