October 17, 2017

Nearly Half of America’s Poor Are Younger Than Age 25

In 2016, 44.3 million individuals in the United States lived in poverty.

This total is larger than the number of residents living in the 12 most populated states — California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia — combined.

Equally startling: America’s youngest residents — anyone 24 years old or younger — account for nearly 50% of the nation’s poor (32% are children; 14% are young adults ages 18 to 24).

At the family level: Single-parent families are close to five times more likely to live in poverty than families with married parents. Nationwide, 5.8 million families with related children — 16% of all families — lived in poverty in 2016.

The federal poverty line is consistent across the country, but varies according to household size and income. For instance: In 2016, two adults and two children lived in poverty if their annual household income was $24,339 or less.

Access economic well-being data on the KIDS COUNT Data Center: