Related children in families (ages 5-17) in poverty by county in Massachusetts

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Why This Indicator Matters

When wages are low and incomes aren’t enough to afford the basics, children face significant obstacles to opportunity right from the start. In some communities in Massachusetts, more than one out of every four children lives below the official federal poverty line. These children are more likely to be at risk for many long-term challenges which can have impacts on their overall development as well as physical and mental health. See MassBudget’s report, Obstacles on the Road to Opportunity: Finding a Way Forward.

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Percent: Estimated percent of related children age 5-17 in families in poverty.

Poverty status is defined by family; either everyone in the family is in poverty or no one in the family is in poverty. Family income is then compared to the Census Bureau’s poverty threshold.

Data Source:

From the U.S. Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE).


The U.S. Census Bureau created the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program to provide more current estimates of selected income and poverty statistics than those from the most recent decennial census.

These estimates combine data from administrative records, intercensal population estimates, and the decennial census, with direct estimates from the American Community Survey. The Census Bureau believes these model-based single-year estimates are more reflective of current conditions than multi-year survey estimates.

Beginning with the SAIPE program's estimates for 2005, SAIPE used data from the American Community Survey (ACS) in the estimation procedure; prior years used data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplements of the Current Population Survey. The Census Bureau states that it is possible to compare county-level poverty child poverty data in the 2006-2016 time period, but not with earlier years due to changes in the estimation methodology.

Updated August 2020 with data from 2018.