Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities

Children Living in America's High-Poverty Communities

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

February 1, 2012

Summary

All children need strong families and supportive communities to realize their full potential. For the nearly 8 million U.S. children under age 18 living in areas of concentrated poverty (see box below for a complete description), critical resources for their healthy growth and development — including high-performing schools, quality medical care and safe outdoor spaces — are often out of reach. The chance that a child will live in an area of concentrated poverty has grown significantly over the last decade. In fact, the latest data available show that the number of children living in these communities has risen by 1.6 million, a 25% increase since 2000.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Both the percent and the number of children living in high-poverty areas increased over the last decade.

Research indicates that as neighborhood poverty rates increase, undesirable outcomes rise and opportunities for success are less likely. Even when family income is held constant, families living in areas of concentrated poverty are more likely to struggle to meet their children’s basic material needs.

Findings & Stats

Percent Distributions

A graph showing the composition of children living in areas of concentrated poverty.

Statements & Quotations