Children living below the poverty threshold by family nativity in the United States

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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 2019, the poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children was $25,926. 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 are 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 2019 American Community Survey.

Footnotes: Updated December 2020.
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.