Children Living in Poverty
What does this measure?
The estimated number of children under 18 living below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2014, the threshold for a four-person family was $24,008.
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 the region performing?
The estimated proportion of children living in poverty increased for all counties in the region from 2000 to 2010-14, similar to the state (excluding NYC) and national trends. However, the regional rate stayed steady from 2005-09 to 2010-14, as opposed to a 3 point increase in the state (excluding NYC) and the nation. In 2010-14, 16% of children in the region lived in poverty, up 3 points from 2000 and unchanged from 2005-09. The 2010-14 rate was 1 point lower than the state rate of 17% (excluding NYC), and well below the national rate of 22%. Dutchess County's rate - the lowest in the region - has stayed steady at 10% from 2005-09 to 2010-14, following a 1 point increase from 2000 to 2005-09. The rate in Ulster fell 3 points from 2005-09 to 2010-14 to 13%, reversing a 2 point increase from 2000 to 2005-09. Orange consistently had the highest rate of child poverty in the region, with 20% of the County's children living in poverty in 2010-14, an increase of 1 point from 2005-09 for a total 5 point increase from 2000.
Among cities, towns and villages in the region, child poverty was highest in Poughkeepsie (34%), Newburgh (45%), Monroe (44%), and Kiryas Joel (58%).
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.