Children in poverty by race and ethnicity (5-yr ACS) in Maine

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Why This Indicator Matters

In the United States, there is significant income inequality based on race and ethnicity. Our history, systems, structures and policies constitute the root causes of this economic inequality. 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.

What the data shows
Due to systemic racism, the rate of poverty for Maine children who are African American or Black is disproportionately high. For 2016-2020, it is estimated to be  two in 5 Black children. This rate of is an improvement from the 53% rate for the 5-year period 2013-2017. The 2016-2020 rate of poverty among Black children is more than twice the rate for all children of 14% and is 7 percentage points higher than the rate among American Indian children of 33%. White children make up approximately three quarters of all children in poverty in Maine and have a poverty rate of 12.5%.

Comparing Maine to the nation, Black children are more likely to be in poverty in Maine than in the United States. In 2019, an estimated 31% of Black or African American children were in poverty in the United States. Kids Count-U.S. Children in poverty by race
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Data Provided By

Definitions: The percent of Maine children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. In 2020, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $26,200. This data is based on 5-year averages, so 2020 represents 2016-2020. 

The percent of Maine children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. In 2020, the poverty threshold for a family of four was $26,200. This data is based on 5-year averages, so 2020 represents 2016-2020. Race is from the US Census American Community Survey categories. "Non-Hispanic White" appears instead of "White alone".  The race category of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander is not included with Asian. Some other race is not included with two or more races. 

Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey five-year estimates, ACS 5-yr Table B17001B to I
Table B17001B to B17001I.

Footnotes: Uploaded May 2022.