Child Poverty (0-17) by Race/Ethnicity

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Why This Indicator Matters

In The Colors of Poverty (2010), a multidisciplinary group of experts (Lin, A.C. and Harris, D., Editors), provide a breakthrough analysis of the complex mechanisms that connect poverty and race. They contend that poverty results not from a single source but from a cumulative process: any type of disadvantage (ex., segregation, social exclusion, encounters with prejudice, or differential access and treatment, etc.) makes one vulnerable to other disadvantages. Together, they show that disadvantages in one area create new disadvantages in others. Conversely, advantages insulate, allowing those with fewer vulnerabilities to buffer themselves from cascading disadvantage.

 

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Definitions:  The share of children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, by race and ethnicity.

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 $24,300. 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.
The percentage of children in poverty for each race is calculated by dividing the total number of children of that race in poverty by the total number of children of that race. For example: In Accomack in 2014, there were 737 white kids in poverty. There were 4,201 total white kids in Accomack. 737/4201 = 17.5%.

Data Source: The data for this measure comes from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates. Race/ethnic groups represented in this table are not mutually exclusive. The category of white includes only non-Hispanic White. The categories Black, Asian, Two or More, and Other include both Hispanic and non-Hispanic. People who identify their origin as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. The category of American Indian is inclusive of Alaska Natives.

The table numbers for each race are as follows:
B17020A: White
B17020B: Black
B17020C: American Indian
B17020D: Asian
B17020F: Other
B17020G: Two or More
B17020I: Hispanic

 

Footnotes: Updated: January 2018

N.A. - Data not available.
* - Estimates suppressed when data represents fewer than 10 children