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Percentage of persons younger than 18 years who live in households at or below the poverty threshold.

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Children in Poverty: Vermont

Vermont Children in Poverty (1990-2015) see more
  • Percentage of persons younger than 18 years who live in households at or below the poverty threshold.

Children in Poverty

United States Children in Poverty (1990-2015) see more
  • Percentage of persons younger than 18 years who live in households at or below the poverty threshold.
Ranking Value State
1 10.6 Wyoming
2 11.1 New Hampshire
3 11.3 Virginia
4 11.5 Vermont
5 11.9 Minnesota
6 12 North Dakota
6 12 Utah
8 12.3 Connecticut
9 13.4 Maryland
10 14.2 Missouri
11 14.3 Iowa
12 14.6 Idaho
13 15.6 Alaska
14 16.1 New Jersey
15 16.2 Wisconsin
16 16.6 Delaware
16 16.6 Kansas
18 16.8 Montana
18 16.8 Washington
20 16.9 Hawaii
21 17.2 Colorado
22 17.6 Massachusetts
23 17.7 Rhode Island
23 17.7 South Dakota
25 18.3 Nebraska
26 18.8 Oregon
27 19.1 New York
28 19.4 Pennsylvania
29 20.5 Illinois
30 20.8 Maine
30 20.8 Michigan
32 22.1 Ohio
33 22.5 South Carolina
34 22.9 California
35 23.3 Indiana
36 23.8 Texas
37 23.9 Nevada
38 24.2 Florida
39 24.4 North Carolina
40 25 Oklahoma
41 25.2 Alabama
42 25.6 Georgia
43 25.7 New Mexico
43 25.7 West Virginia
45 26.2 Tennessee
46 28.5 Arizona
47 29.4 Mississippi
48 29.7 Arkansas
49 30.3 Kentucky
50 33.7 Louisiana

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Children in Poverty
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Children in Poverty
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Thematic Map
Children in Poverty
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Overview

Children in Poverty is the percentage of related persons younger than 18 years living in a household that is at or below 100% of the poverty threshold. The 2014 poverty threshold established by the US Census Bureau for a household of 4 people in the lower 48 states is $23,850 in household income. The 2015 ranks are based on 2014 data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

The percentage of children in poverty ranges from 10.6% of persons younger than 18 years in Wyoming to a high of 33.7% in Louisiana. The national average is 21.1% of persons younger than 18 years, up slightly compared to last year’s rate of 19.9%.

Public Health Impact

The effects of poverty on health have been documented with higher rates of many chronic diseases and shorter life expectancy.[1]-[2] Poverty’s effect on more vulnerable populations such as children is especially great. Poverty directly influences a family’s ability to meet their children’s basic needs and limits access to health care, healthy foods, educational opportunities, and choices for physical activity.[3] Children in poverty are roughly 3 times more likely than other children to have unmet health needs.[4] Children born into poverty are more likely than other children to have low birthweight and die within the first month after birth.[5] As impoverished children grow up, they are more likely to engage in risky or unhealthy behaviors and are at a greater lifetime risk of many different health problems.[6]-[7] Poverty disproportionately affects black, American Indian, and Hispanic children with over 60% prevalence in these populations.[8]

Government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) help alleviate some ill effects of poverty. The cost of these programs is large: In 2014 SNAP had over 46.5 million participants costing $74.2 billion,[9] and WIC had 8.3 million participants costing $6.3 billion.[10] There are also many other government programs and community interventions that help reduce the number of children in poverty and the burden of poverty on children.

Healthy People 2020 tracks the proportion of children aged 0 to 17 years living in poverty for informational purposes.



[1] Fiscella K. Poverty or income inequality as predictor of mortality: longitudinal cohort study. BMJ. 314.7096(1997):1724.

[2] Adler NE, Ostrove JM. Socioeconomic status and health: what we know and what we don't. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1999;896(1):3-15.

[3] Yoshikawa H, Aber JL, Beardslee WR. The effects of poverty on the mental, emotional, and behavioral health of children and youth: Implications for prevention. Am Psychol. 2012;67(4):272-284.

[4] Newacheck PW, Hughes DC, Hung YY, Wong S, Stoddard JJ. The unmet health needs of America’s children. Pediatrics. 2000;105(4):989-97.

[5] Moore KA. Children in poverty: Trends, consequences and policy options. Child Trends. 2002.

[6] Duncan GJ, Ziol-Guest KM, Kalil A. Early-childhood poverty and adult attainment, behavior, and health. Child Dev. 2010;81(1):306-325. 

[7] Wood D. Effect of child and family poverty on child health in the United States. Pediatrics. 2003;112(suppl 3):707.

[8] Jiang Y, Ekono M, Skinner C. Basic facts about low-income children. National Center for Children in Poverty. http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_1100.html. Updated January 2015. Accessed July 8, 2015.

[9] United States Department of Agriculture. Supplemental nutrition assistance program participation and costs. http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/pd/SNAPsummary.pdf. Updated July 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.

[10] United States Department of Agriculture. WIC program participation and costs. http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files//pd/wisummary.pdf. Updated July 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.