A Decade of Data: Kids in High-Poverty Communities

Posted March 9, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

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Across the coun­try, 14% of chil­dren are now liv­ing in high-pover­ty com­mu­ni­ties, accord­ing to the KIDS COUNT Data Cen­ter. Casey defines con­cen­trat­ed pover­ty as neigh­bor­hoods (cen­sus tracts) with pover­ty rates of 30% or more, though research shows that res­i­dents start to expe­ri­ence lim­it­ed oppor­tu­ni­ties when the pover­ty rate reach­es 20%.

When researchers com­pared this rate across two time peri­ods — 2006 to 2010 and 2011 to 2015 — they found that:

  • The inci­dence of chil­dren liv­ing in areas of con­cen­trat­ed pover­ty nation­wide has increased by near­ly 30% —from 7.9 mil­lion kids to 10.0 mil­lion kids.
  • In 42 states, chil­dren were more like­ly to live in high-pover­ty areas.
  • Neva­da saw the largest state-lev­el rate increase. There, the rate of chil­dren liv­ing in high-pover­ty neigh­bor­hoods increased by 117%, from 6% to 13%.
  • In 38 of the nation’s 50 largest cities, chil­dren were more like­ly to live in high-pover­ty communities.
  • Mesa saw the largest city-lev­el rate increase. There, the rate of chil­dren liv­ing in high-pover­ty areas jumped by 200%, from 5% to 15%.
  • Black and Amer­i­can Indi­an chil­dren are now six times more like­ly to live in neigh­bor­hoods with lim­it­ed resources com­pared to their white peers.

Children living in high poverty areas

Find more fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty data — at the local, state and nation­al lev­el — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.

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