Children living below the poverty threshold by family nativity

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Children living below the poverty threshold by family nativity

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

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Definitions: The share of children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level by children in foreign-born or US-born families.

The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition. In 2012, the poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children was $23,283. Poverty status is not determined for people in military barracks, institutional quarters, or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children).

Children in immigrant families is defined as children who are themselves foreign-born or reside with at least one foreign-born parent. Foreign-born is defined as either a U.S. citizen by naturalization or not a citizen of the U.S. Native-born is defined as born in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Marianas or born abroad of American parents. The foreign-born status of children not living with either parent is based solely on the status of the child and no other household member. Children living in subfamilies are linked to their parent(s) and not the householder.

Data Source: Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, 2001 Supplementary Survey, 2002 through 2012 American Community Survey.

The data for this measure come from the 2000 and 2001 Supplementary Survey and the 2002 through 2012 American Community Survey (ACS). The 2000 through 2004 ACS surveyed approximately 700,000 households monthly during each calendar year. In general but particularly for these years, use caution when interpreting estimates for less populous states or indicators representing small sub-populations, where the sample size is relatively small. Beginning in January 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau expanded the ACS sample to 3 million households (full implementation), and in January 2006 the ACS included group quarters. The ACS, fully implemented, is designed to provide annually updated social, economic, and housing data for states and communities. (Such local-area data have traditionally been collected once every ten years in the long form of the decennial census.)

Estimates for years 2000 though 2004 are presented by a series of 3-year averages computed by PRB--the first year 2000 to 2002, the second year 2001 to 2003 and the third year 2002 to 2004. The 2005 ACS, is the first year with an expanded sample and is presented by estimates with a single year of data.

Footnotes: Updated December 2013.
S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.
N.A. – Data not available.
Data are provided for the 50 most populous cities according to the most recent Census counts.  Cities for which data is collected may change over time.
A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at
Children living below the poverty threshold by family nativity.