Children in poverty by county 2005-2019 in Maine

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

Poverty plays a key role in children's well-being and is related to every KIDS COUNT indicator. Children who live in poverty, especially those who live in poverty for long periods of time, are at an increased risk for poor health, cognitive, social, and educational outcomes. They are more likely to have physical, behavioral, and emotional health problems; to have difficulty in school; to become teen parents; and as adults, earn less, and have more mental and physical health issues in adulthood.

What the data shows
The poverty rate in 2019 in the United States for children ages 0 -17 is 16.8%, down from 18.0% in the previous year using SAIPE 1-year data.

The poverty rate for children in Maine in 2019 is 13.8% , a steep decline from 2012 when it was 19.8% and a full percentage point lower than 2018 when it was 14.8%.  The 2019 child poverty rate in Maine was the lowest percent and number since 2005. However, Maine's child poverty rate in 2019 is still higher than all of the other New England states except Rhode Island.

In terms of Maine counties, in 2018 both Cumberland and York Counties had poverty rates below 10%. The county with next lowest percentage of children in poverty was Sagadahoc at 11.4%.
None of the other 13 counties had rates below the state average rate of 13.8%. In 2019, four counties had child poverty rates above 20%: Washington at 24.6%,  Piscataquis at 23.8%, Somerset at 22.6% and Aroostook at 20.2%. Comparing 2019 to 2018, there were 11 counties that improved and one that was unchanged .The county with the largest 1 year improvement from 2018 to 2019 was Oxford going from 26.3% to 17.6%, while Penobscot improved from 17.1% to 13.9%. By contrast, Somerset's child poverty rate increased from 21.1% to 22.6% and Knox's rate went from 16.1% to 17.5%.

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Data Provided By

Definitions: The estimated number and percent of children ages 0-17 living in poverty for the 1 year period noted. Beginning in 2005, these estimates are modeled from combined census estimates, and other administrative and and economic data.

Data Source: All estimates are from the U.S. Census Bureau, SAIPE County 1-year estimates.

Footnotes: Note that this data is from Small Area Income & Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) for 1 year periods and not from American Community Survey (ACS) for 5-year periods.

Uploaded January 2021.