This indicator represents the number of children ages 0 through 17 living in families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty threshold (i.e., with incomes up to twice the level of poverty). Current research suggests that families need at least twice the official poverty level, depending on locality, to cover the minimum day-to-day needs (National Center for Children in Poverty, Budgeting for Basic Needs: A Struggle for Working Families).
The denominator for the percentage is the total child population ages 0 through 17 for whom poverty status is determined in respective geographic areas. Children for whom poverty status is determined include children living in households where they are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. Thus, children living in foster care or in a group/institutional setting are excluded from this indicator.
U.S. Census Bureau - 1990 Census, Summary Tape File 4A, Table PB101; Census 2000, Summary File 3 (SF3), Table PCT50; and the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates, Table B17024.
The federal poverty thresholds are updated each year by the U.S. Census Bureau and were established in 1964 using guidelines set by the Social Security Administration. Current thresholds can be found here. GEOGRAPHY - Data reflect the child’s place of residence. DATE - Census data reflect April 1 of reference year. The ACS data reflect a 5-year pooled estimate. That is, the estimate is the result of data being continuously collected nearly every day for five years. LIMITATIONS - Data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. Characteristics for geographic areas experiencing dynamic change due to such things as an environmental catastrophe (e.g., flood) or a plant closing will be mitigated since these estimates cover five calendar years of data. Also, caution is needed when using the multiyear estimates for estimating year-to-year change in a particular characteristic. This is because four of the five years in the 5-year estimate overlap with the next year’s estimate. Ideally, trend analysis with multiyear estimates should be done using estimates from non-overlapping periods (i.e., 2005-2009 and 2010-2014). Children ages 0 to 17 living in low-income families (<200% of poverty).