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How many children live in poverty in your state?

  • How many children live in poverty in your state?

    Mollie Orshansky, an economist at the Social Security Administration, created an official poverty measure in the 1960s. The United States still uses this same measure today; it aims to account for miscellaneous expenses and the cost of food, but there are evidently many other factors that contribute to the severity of poverty. A few examples include geography, cost of living, accessibility of education, and more. So a national standard is difficult to set.

    In a similar vein, wealth distribution and social welfare are not equally accessible to people in the United States. According to Equitable Growth, only 23% of wealth came from the bottom 90% of the U.S. population in 2016. Huge subsets of a city’s population depend on resources that alleviate chronic issues like poverty.

    In 2017, the official poverty rate was 12.3%, with 39.7 million Americans living in poverty. This rate is 0.4% lower than that of 2016 and also signifies the third consecutive year the official poverty rate has gone down.

    The Children’s Defense Fund reported that one in every six children in America live in poverty. And, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, child poverty decreased from 17.4% to 16.2% percent from 2017 to 2018.

    Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children’s Health Fund, Feeding America, LIFT, and Save the Children are just a few charities dedicated to improving the lives of the nation’s most vulnerable. And many states create their own indexes to account for the variations unique to their home.

    Stacker sifted through data from the U.S. Census SAIPE State and County Estimates for 2018 to find the number of children who live in poverty in each state. The data is further split with numbers of children in poverty in the 0–4 and 5–17 age groups.

    Keep reading to find out how many children live in poverty in your state.

    Update, 11/21/18, 12:15 PM: A note of clarification: the values reported in this story reflect estimates determined by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program, not exact counts of the number of children who live in poverty in each state. As a result, the sum of children in the 0–4 and 5–17 age groups may not precisely match the total value reported for a given state.

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  • #51. Vermont

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 13,791 (12.2% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 3,420 (11.9% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 9,359 (11.3% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $60,917
    - County with the most children in poverty: Chittenden County (2,294 children, 8% of children in this county)

    Vermont has one of the lowest poverty rates in the entire United States, but the estimated number of kids in poverty under the age of 18 is more than 10,000. So, to actively address those statistics, Vermont is working to make childcare more accessible.

  • #50. Wyoming

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 17,314 (13.1% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 5,539 (15.9% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 11,232 (11.6% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $62,259
    - County with the most children in poverty: Laramie County (2,877 children, 12.8% of children in this county)

    Climb Wyoming is an organization focused on elevating mothers by offering professional and financial resources. The organization has helped 1,700 mothers and 3,500 children by supporting mothers through developmental programs.

  • #49. North Dakota

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 19,332 (11% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 6,936 (13% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 11,823 (9.6% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $65,250
    - County with the most children in poverty: Cass County (3,658 children, 9.1% of children in this county)

    From 2000 to 2017, the number of children living in poverty in Cass County has increased greatly. But in comparison to the rest of the U.S., North Dakota has the second-lowest rate of child poverty.

  • #48. New Hampshire

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 25,379 (10.1% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 7,159 (11.6% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 17,007 (9% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $75,322
    - County with the most children in poverty: Hillsborough County (8,294 children, 10% of children in this county)

    The Kids Count Data Center reported that New Hampshire actually saw an increase in the number of children who live in poverty from 2016 to 2017. For children who are living in a household with income 200% below the federal poverty level, in 2016 there were roughly 59,000 kids living in poverty, and that number jumped to 60,000 in 2017.

  • #47. Alaska

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 26,096 (14.5% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 8,255 (15.9% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 16,827 (13.2% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $74,912
    - County with the most children in poverty: Anchorage Borough (8,467 children, 12.1% of children in this county)

    Anchorage is Alaska’s largest city and is part of the Anchorage Borough. Community health centers, subsidized child care, and minimum wage requirements are a few endeavors the Alaskan Department of Health and Social Services credits to helping reduce poverty in the state.

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  • #46. District of Columbia

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 30,803 (24.5% of all children in this age range in the city)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 10,267 (23% of all children in this age range in the city)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 20,062 (24.8% of all children in this age range in the city)
    - Median household income: $82,533
    - County with the most children in poverty: District of Columbia (30,803 children, 24.5% of children in this county)

    Child poverty has been decreasing for the last decade in the District of Columbia. Yet, the cost of living has been increasing. And, 42% of children in the district come from families whose parents don’t have steady employment.

  • #45. South Dakota

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 34,211 (16.1% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 11,044 (18.4% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 22,250 (14.8% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $57,041
    - County with the most children in poverty: Pennington County (4,831 children, 19.2% of children in this county)

    Minnehaha County doesn’t provide assistance to minors living apart from their parents. But according to the county’s government website, it links lack of affordable housing to homelessness. It also reported that roughly 106,646 people in South Dakota are at risk of going hungry and 68% are forced to choose between buying food or paying utility bills.

  • #44. Delaware

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 35,031 (17.6% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 9,997 (19% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 24,091 (16.5% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $65,467
    - County with the most children in poverty: New Castle County (18,240 children, 15.5% of children in this county)

    Similar to Maine and a handful of other states, Delaware’s most-populated county is also the county with the most children living in poverty. There are roughly 66,000 children receiving food stamps and 104,777 kids enrolled in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

  • #43. Hawaii

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 35,184 (11.8% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 10,956 (13% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 22,819 (10.8% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $80,527
    - County with the most children in poverty: Honolulu County (20,035 children, 9.8% of children in this county)

    The Center on the Family in Hawaii reports that children are the most vulnerable age group. Also, children living with a single-parent household are about 10 times more likely to live in poverty than children with two parents.

  • #42. Maine

    - Children ages 0 to 17 in poverty: 35,960 (14.8% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 0 to 4 in poverty: 9,894 (15.9% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Children ages 5 to 17 in poverty: 24,279 (13.6% of all children in this age range in the state)
    - Median household income: $55,579
    - County with the most children in poverty: Penobscot County (4,554 children, 17.1% of children in this county)

    Child Poverty in Maine has been steadily decreasing since 2014. Cumberland County is the most populous in Maine and also has the highest number of children living in poverty.

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