Children and Youth

The challenges facing our community’s children can diminish their chances for successful adult lives. In this section we review several indicators that describe family supports and risk exposure of our youngest residents.

In all cases, comparisons to New York state statistics reflect the entire state excluding New York City.

There are slightly less children living in poverty in 2018-22 than in 2013-17, similar to state and national trends. In 2018-22, about 15% of children in the region were living in poverty, down 1 point since 2013-17 and lower than the national rate (17%).  Putnam County had the lowest rate of child poverty in the region (6%), while Sullivan County had the highest percentage of children living in poverty (23%). Poverty was highest among African American (21%) and Hispanic (17%) children in the Mid-Hudson Valley region in 2018-22. White children (14%) were less likely to be living in poverty, though this represents a 1 point increase since 2008-12.

There are more single–parent families in the region, though still below the state and nation. The proportion of single–parent families in the region increased 2 percentage points from 2008-12, similar to state and national trends. In 2018–22, slightly less than one–third (30%) of families in the region were headed by single parents, below the rates for the state (excluding NYC) (31%) and nation (34%). Sullivan (40%), Ulster (37%), and Columbia (39%) counties had the highest proportion of single–parent families, while Putnam had the lowest (22%). Over half (57%) of African American families in the region were headed by single parents, the highest of any racial or ethnic group. This was below the rates for African American families throughout the state (excluding NYC) (65%) and nation (67%).  In the region, 37% of Hispanic families and 27% of white families were headed by single parents.

Rates of child abuse and neglect have fluctuated but not changed substantially since 2010. In 2022, there were 10 abused children for every 1,000 children in the region, down 42% from 2010 and below the statewide rate of 14. Rates were lowest in Orange (8 per 1,000) and Putnam (7 per 1,000) counties and highest in Greene County (27 per 1,000 children under 18).

Foster care admissions are decreasing, and the regional rate is higher than the state’s. The rate of children admitted to foster care declined to 1.5 children per 1,000 in 2022 from 2.6 in 2010. The rate is same as the statewide rate of 1.5 children per 1,000.  Admissions were greatest in Greene County, with 5.7 children per 1,000 admitted to foster care, followed by Sullivan and Columbia (both 2.1).

The region has seen a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which is similar to the state. In 2020, the last year data was available, the number of pregnancies among females 12-19 was 0.9%, 1.3 percentage points lower than in 2010. Teen pregnancy was highest in Sullivan County at 1.5% and lowest in Putnam at 0.4%.


Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect Decreasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Decreasing
Teen Pregnancy Decreasing
Average Charitable Giving Increasing
Voter Registration Rate Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Total Population Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Types Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Spending for County Government Increasing
Tourism Revenue Increasing
Preschoolers Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Economic Background Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 English, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Economic Background Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 4 Math, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Dropout Rate Decreasing
High School GED Rate Decreasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Seniors Living in Poverty Maintaining
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Children Receiving Subsidized Child Care Decreasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Decreasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Deaths from Drug Overdoses Increasing
Early Prenatal Care, by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
Babies with Low Birth Weights Increasing
People Living wth HIV Increasing
Mental Health Clinic Visits Decreasing
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeless Persons Decreasing
Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Cost of Renting Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Decreasing
Domestic Violence Decreasing