Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
What does this measure?
The number of children under 18 living below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18 and reported by various racial and ethnic groups. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2015, the threshold for a four-person family was $24,036.
Why is this important?
Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives.
How is Orange County performing?
In Orange County in 2011-15, poverty was most prevalent among Hispanic (20%) and African American (30%) children. Those rates were similar to the region and lower than the state (excluding NYC) and national rates of child poverty among those groups. The poverty rate among white children in Orange was 19%, the highest in the region. The poverty rate for African American children increased by 2 points from 2000, while the rate for Hispanic children decreased by 4 points. The rate of white children living in poverty increased 6 points over the same period.
Among cities, towns and villages, estimated poverty levels were particularly high among African American children in Newburgh. Monroe and Kiryas Joel had particularly high rates among white children at 47% and 58%, respectively. The child populations in most other local areas, when broken down by race and ethnicity, were too small to yield reliable survey results.
Notes about the data
The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval).
The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.