Children in poverty (100 percent poverty)

Change Indicator

Indicator Context

Growing up in poverty is one of the greatest threats to healthy child development. Poverty and financial stress can impede children’s cognitive development and their ability to learn. It can contribute to behavioral, social and emotional problems and poor health.

This indicator is included in the KIDS COUNT Child Well-Being Index. Read the KIDS COUNT Data Book to learn more:


Data Provided By National KIDS COUNT

Definitions: The share of children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level.

The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition. In calendar year 2016, a family of two adults and two children fell in the “poverty” category if their annual income fell below $24,339. Poverty status is not determined for people in military barracks, institutional quarters, or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children).  The data are based on income received in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Data Source: Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, 2001 Supplementary Survey, 2002 through 2016 American Community Survey.

These data were derived from American Fact Finder table B17001 (

The data for this measure come from the 2000 and 2001 Supplementary Survey and the 2002 through 2016 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.)

Footnotes: Updated September 2017.
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 in poverty (100 percent poverty).