Nearly Half of America’s Poor Are Younger Than Age 25

Posted October 18, 2017
Blog nearlyhalfofamericaspoor 2017

In 2016, 44.3 mil­lion indi­vid­u­als in the Unit­ed States lived in poverty.

This total is larg­er than the num­ber of res­i­dents liv­ing in the 12 most pop­u­lat­ed states — Cal­i­for­nia, Texas, New York, Flori­da, Illi­nois, Penn­syl­va­nia, Ohio, Geor­gia, North Car­oli­na, Michi­gan, New Jer­sey and Vir­ginia — combined.

Equal­ly star­tling: America’s youngest res­i­dents — any­one 24 years old or younger — account for near­ly 50% of the nation’s poor (32% are chil­dren; 14% are young adults ages 18 to 24).

At the fam­i­ly lev­el: Sin­gle-par­ent fam­i­lies are close to five times more like­ly to live in pover­ty than fam­i­lies with mar­ried par­ents. Nation­wide, 5.8 mil­lion fam­i­lies with relat­ed chil­dren — 16% of all fam­i­lies — lived in pover­ty in 2016.

The fed­er­al pover­ty line is con­sis­tent across the coun­try, but varies accord­ing to house­hold size and income. For instance: In 2016, two adults and two chil­dren lived in pover­ty if their annu­al house­hold income was $24,339 or less.

Access eco­nom­ic well-being data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center:

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