The Annie E. Casey Foundation: Helping vulnerable kids & families succeed

Newsroom

Home > Newsroom > News Releases > Child Poverty Rates Increase in 44 of 50 Largest U.S. Cities Between 2005 and 2011
share post tweet Email Print

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2012 

Contact:
Sue Lin Chong | (410) 223-2836 | media@aecf.org

Child Poverty Rates Increase in 44 of 50 Largest U.S. Cities Between 2005 and 2011

New American Community Survey data available in the Annie E. Casey Foundation's KIDS COUNT Data Center

BALTIMORE – The 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) data show an increase in the rate of children living in poverty in the United States between 2005 and 2011. Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, 44 experienced increases in child poverty rates. Detroit, Cleveland, Miami, Milwaukee and Memphis, Tenn., had the highest rates of children living in poverty, while Virginia Beach, Va., San Jose, Calif., San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Mesa, Ariz., and Colorado Springs, Colo. had the lowest rates, according to an analysis by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau.

Over the same period, the national percentage of children living in poverty — or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) — rose from 19 to 23 percent, or an increase of about 3 million children from 2005 to 2011. The 2011 federal poverty level was about $23,000 for a family of four.

Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Fla., Arlington, Texas, Indianapolis, and Wichita, Kan., had the biggest increase in rates of children living in poverty between 2005 and 2011.

The ACS data were released Sept. 20. Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, those with the highest child poverty rates in 2011 were:

City

 Rate of Children Living
Below 100% of FPL

 Margin of Error

Detroit

57%

+/- 1.7

Cleveland

54%

+/- 2.4

Miami

44%

+/- 3.8

Milwaukee

43%

+/- 1.8

Memphis

42%

+/- 2.2

     Note: The San Juan, P.R., rate is 59 percent but is not ranked against other U.S. cities.

Cities with the lowest rates in 2011 were:

City

 Rate of Children Living
Below 100% FPL

 Margin of Error

Virginia Beach

12%

+/- 2.1

San Jose

14%

+/- 1.4

San Francisco

15%

+/- 2.1

Seattle

15%

+/- 2.6

San Diego

22%

+/- 1.4

Mesa

22%

+/- 2.4

Colorado Springs

22%

+/- 2.7


Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, those with the biggest increase* in their child poverty rate between 2005 and 2011 are:

City

 Increase in Percent of Children
Living Below 100% of FPL

Las Vegas

81%

Jacksonville

63%

Arlington

61%

Indianapolis

50%

Wichita

50 %



“These numbers underscore that millions of children are living in families who are barely getting by economically, which can affect their well-being and their ability to succeed as adults,” said Laura Speer, director of policy reform and data at the Casey Foundation. “Now more than ever, the future prosperity of the United States depends on our ability to foster the health and well-being of the next generation.”

The Casey Foundation’s 2012 KIDS COUNT® Data Book introduces the new KIDS COUNT index, which provides a more detailed picture of how children are faring in the United States. In addition to ranking states on overall child well-being, the 2012 Data Book offers state rankings in four categories: Economic Well-Being, Education, Health and Family and Community.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center has been updated with economic data from the 2011 ACS including the numbers and rates of children living in families with incomes below both the federal poverty line and 200 percent of that line. The latest data cover children at the state and city level, as well as in congressional districts. The numbers also include demographic factors, such as race.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center contains maps and graphs of the latest data on poverty, health insurance coverage and hundreds of other indicators of child well-being. The Data Center is enhanced by a user-friendly mobile site, mobile.kidscount.org, and allows users to import badges, maps and graphs directly to their websites or for use in presentations and publications.

Indicators based on the latest ACS and Current Poverty Estimates will be updated as data become available. The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau compile the updates.

* All increases were statistically significant.


View the release as a PDF.

# # #

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private, national philanthropy that creates better futures for the nation’s children by strengthening families, building economic opportunities and transforming neighborhoods into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. KIDS Count ® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. For more information, visit www.prb.org.