A Decade of Data: Kids in High-Poverty Communities

Posted March 9, 2017, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

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Across the country, 14% of children are now living in high-poverty communities, according to the KIDS COUNT Data Center. Casey defines concentrated poverty as neighborhoods (census tracts) with poverty rates of 30% or more, though research shows that residents start to experience limited opportunities when the poverty rate reaches 20%.

When researchers compared this rate across two time periods — 2006 to 2010 and 2011 to 2015 — they found that:

  • The incidence of children living in areas of concentrated poverty nationwide has increased by nearly 30% —from 7.9 million kids to 10.0 million kids.
  • In 42 states, children were more likely to live in high-poverty areas.
  • Nevada saw the largest state-level rate increase. There, the rate of children living in high-poverty neighborhoods increased by 117%, from 6% to 13%.
  • In 38 of the nation’s 50 largest cities, children were more likely to live in high-poverty communities.
  • Mesa saw the largest city-level rate increase. There, the rate of children living in high-poverty areas jumped by 200%, from 5% to 15%.
  • Black and American Indian children are now six times more likely to live in neighborhoods with limited resources compared to their white peers.

Children living in high poverty areas

Find more family and community data — at the local, state and national level — in the KIDS COUNT Data Center.