Currently, 18% of all children in the United States — nearly 13 million kids total — are living in poverty. Child poverty occurs when a child lives in a household where the combined annual earnings of all adults falls below a federally set income threshold. This threshold varies by family size and composition. In 2018, a family of two adults and two children were officially living in poverty if their household earnings fell below $25,465 annually.
Poverty elevates a child’s risk of experiencing behavioral, social and emotional and health challenges. Child poverty also reduces skill-building opportunities and academic outcomes, undercutting a young student’s capacity to learn, graduate high school and more.