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How many children live in poverty in your state

evan Comen

Aug 5, 2019

Throughout the United States, 18.4% of Americans under age 18 — a total of 13.4 million children — live in poverty, one of the highest child poverty rates of any developed nation. Children born into poverty are likely to continue to live in impoverished circumstances as adults. In a 2017 study from the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty that tracked 18,000 individuals since 1968, researchers found that only 16% of children who spent a majority of their childhoods in poverty were living above the poverty line between the ages of 25 and 30. Poverty in America also disproportionately affects minority families and exacerbates existing socioeconomic inequalities along racial lines.

States with higher childhood poverty rates tend to perform poorly in other socioeconomic factors, such as lower educational attainment rate, higher unemployment, and higher rates of food insecurity, all of which can ultimately lead to worse health outcomes and lower life expectancy. These are places where poverty is causing bad diets.

According to a 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the lower productivity, higher crime rates, and worse health outcomes that result from child poverty cost the United States between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion a year.

13.4 million children in America live in poverty

To help reduce child poverty, the federal government provides parents of children under 17 with the child tax credit — a tax cut worth up to $2,000 per dependent. If taxes owed are lower than the credit, families can receive up to $1,400 per child. Some states offer their own version of the child tax credit that matches some proportion of the federal tax cut. Several of the states with their own credit programs — Colorado, California, and New York — are states where welfare supports the most poor families.

To identify how many children live in poverty in your state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. Childhood poverty refers to the share of children under the age of 18 living in households with incomes below the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold varies by family size and composition. In 2017, the Census Bureau poverty threshold for a family of three with one child under 18 years old was $19,730.

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1. Alabama

Children in poverty: 265,078 (16th most)
Child poverty rate: 24.6% (5th highest)
State poverty rate: 16.9% (6th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.3% (6th highest)
 
 

2. Alaska

Children in poverty: 26,865 (5th least)
Child poverty rate: 14.9% (21st lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.1% (16th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3% (16th lowest)
 
 

3. Arizona

Children in poverty: 332,299 (11th most)
Child poverty rate: 20.8% (14th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.9% (12th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.2% (14th highest)
 
 

4. Arkansas

Children in poverty: 156,427 (24th least)
Child poverty rate: 22.5% (7th highest)
State poverty rate: 16.4% (7th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.6% (9th highest)
 
 

5. California

Children in poverty: 1,618,889 (the most)
Child poverty rate: 18.1% (23rd highest)
State poverty rate: 13.3% (22nd highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.3% (21st lowest)
 
 

6. Colorado

Children in poverty: 149,043 (22nd least)
Child poverty rate: 12.0% (7th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.3% (8th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.7% (10th lowest)
 
 

7. Connecticut

Children in poverty: 92,583 (15th least)
Child poverty rate: 12.6% (9th lowest)
State poverty rate: 9.6% (5th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (12th lowest)
 
 

8. Delaware

Children in poverty: 36,755 (11th least)
Child poverty rate: 18.5% (20th highest)
State poverty rate: 13.6% (19th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.6% (9th highest)
 
 

9. Florida

Children in poverty: 840,179 (3rd most)
Child poverty rate: 20.3% (15th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.0% (17th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.1% (17th highest)
 
 

10. Georgia

Children in poverty: 519,099 (5th most)
Child poverty rate: 21.0% (12th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.9% (11th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.4% (11th highest)
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11. Hawaii

Children in poverty: 34,441 (9th least)
Child poverty rate: 11.5% (4th lowest)
State poverty rate: 9.5% (4th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.7% (23rd highest)
 

12. Idaho

Children in poverty: 67,147 (13th least)
Child poverty rate: 15.3% (22nd lowest)
State poverty rate: 12.8% (25th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3% (16th lowest)
 

13. Illinois

Children in poverty: 486,196 (7th most)
Child poverty rate: 17.0% (24th highest)
State poverty rate: 12.6% (24th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.8% (22nd highest)
 

14. Indiana

Children in poverty: 282,390 (14th most)
Child poverty rate: 18.4% (22nd highest)
State poverty rate: 13.5% (20th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.9% (21st highest)
 

15. Iowa

Children in poverty: 88,070 (14th least)
Child poverty rate: 12.3% (8th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.7% (12th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (6th lowest)
 

16. Kansas

Children in poverty: 103,689 (18th least)
Child poverty rate: 14.8% (20th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.9% (21st lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.1% (18th lowest)
 
 

17. Kentucky

Children in poverty: 222,906 (21st most)
Child poverty rate: 22.4% (8th highest)
State poverty rate: 17.2% (5th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.6% (5th highest)
 
 

18. Louisiana

Children in poverty: 306,513 (13th most)
Child poverty rate: 28.0% (the highest)
State poverty rate: 19.7% (2nd highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 6.6% (the highest)
 
 

19. Maine

Children in poverty: 32,567 (6th least)
Child poverty rate: 13.1% (10th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.1% (15th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (6th lowest)
 
 

20. Maryland

Children in poverty: 159,886 (25th least)
Child poverty rate: 12.0% (7th lowest)
State poverty rate: 9.3% (2nd lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (12th lowest)
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21. Massachusetts

Children in poverty: 182,470 (24th most)
Child poverty rate: 13.5% (12th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.5% (10th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.4% (23rd lowest)
 

22. Michigan

Children in poverty: 419,449 (10th most)
Child poverty rate: 19.7% (17th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.2% (15th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.1% (17th highest)
 

23. Minnesota

Children in poverty: 149,926 (23rd least)
Child poverty rate: 11.8% (5th lowest)
State poverty rate: 9.5% (3rd lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.1% (the lowest)
 

24. Mississippi

Children in poverty: 189,541 (23rd most)
Child poverty rate: 26.9% (3rd highest)
State poverty rate: 19.8% (the highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 6.3% (3rd highest)
 

25. Missouri

Children in poverty: 252,041 (18th most)
Child poverty rate: 18.6% (19th highest)
State poverty rate: 13.4% (21st highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.6% (25th highest)
 

26. Montana

Children in poverty: 32,857 (7th least)
Child poverty rate: 14.7% (19th lowest)
State poverty rate: 12.5% (22nd lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.3% (21st lowest)
 
 

27. Nebraska

Children in poverty: 65,591 (12th least)
Child poverty rate: 14.1% (16th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.8% (13th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.7% (10th lowest)
 
 

28. Nevada

Children in poverty: 124,514 (19th least)
Child poverty rate: 18.5% (20th highest)
State poverty rate: 13.0% (25th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4% (20th highest)
 
 

29. New Hampshire

Children in poverty: 25,909 (4th least)
Child poverty rate: 10.3% (the lowest)
State poverty rate: 7.7% (the lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.3% (2nd lowest)
 
 

30. New Jersey

Children in poverty: 272,251 (15th most)
Child poverty rate: 13.9% (14th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.0% (7th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.9% (13th lowest)
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31. New Mexico

Children in poverty: 130,502 (20th least)
Child poverty rate: 27.2% (2nd highest)
State poverty rate: 19.7% (3rd highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 6.6% (the highest)
 
 

32. New York

Children in poverty: 803,171 (4th most)
Child poverty rate: 19.7% (17th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.1% (16th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.2% (14th highest)
 
 

33. North Carolina

Children in poverty: 481,494 (8th most)
Child poverty rate: 21.2% (10th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.7% (14th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.3% (13th highest)
 
 

34. North Dakota

Children in poverty: 18,519 (3rd least)
Child poverty rate: 10.9% (3rd lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.3% (9th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.3% (21st lowest)
 
 

35. Ohio

Children in poverty: 513,238 (6th most)
Child poverty rate: 20.1% (16th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.0% (18th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.1% (17th highest)
 
 

36. Oklahoma

Children in poverty: 202,674 (22nd most)
Child poverty rate: 21.5% (9th highest)
State poverty rate: 15.8% (8th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.7% (8th highest)
 
 

37. Oregon

Children in poverty: 141,151 (21st least)
Child poverty rate: 16.5% (23rd lowest)
State poverty rate: 13.2% (23rd highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.6% (25th highest)
 
 

38. Pennsylvania

Children in poverty: 444,486 (9th most)
Child poverty rate: 17.0% (24th highest)
State poverty rate: 12.5% (23rd lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.4% (23rd lowest)
 
 

39. Rhode Island

Children in poverty: 33,858 (8th least)
Child poverty rate: 16.6% (25th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.6% (20th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (6th lowest)
 
 

40. South Carolina

Children in poverty: 245,023 (19th most)
Child poverty rate: 22.6% (6th highest)
State poverty rate: 15.4% (9th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.9% (7th highest)
 
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41. South Dakota

Children in poverty: 34,442 (10th least)
Child poverty rate: 16.6% (25th lowest)
State poverty rate: 13.0% (24th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.6% (25th highest)
 
 

42. Tennessee

Children in poverty: 314,781 (12th most)
Child poverty rate: 21.2% (10th highest)
State poverty rate: 15.0% (10th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.2% (14th highest)
 
 

43. Texas

Children in poverty: 1,524,712 (2nd most)
Child poverty rate: 20.9% (13th highest)
State poverty rate: 14.7% (13th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.4% (11th highest)
 
 

44. Utah

Children in poverty: 97,832 (17th least)
Child poverty rate: 10.7% (2nd lowest)
State poverty rate: 9.7% (6th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.4% (3rd lowest)
 
 

45. Vermont

Children in poverty: 15,946 (the least)
Child poverty rate: 13.8% (13th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.3% (17th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.6% (8th lowest)
 
 

46. Virginia

Children in poverty: 258,133 (17th most)
Child poverty rate: 14.0% (15th lowest)
State poverty rate: 10.6% (11th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.1% (18th lowest)
 
 

47. Washington

Children in poverty: 232,452 (20th most)
Child poverty rate: 14.3% (17th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.0% (14th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3% (16th lowest)
 
 

48. West Virginia

Children in poverty: 93,758 (16th least)
Child poverty rate: 25.9% (4th highest)
State poverty rate: 19.1% (4th highest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.9% (4th highest)
 
 

49. Wisconsin

Children in poverty: 181,828 (25th most)
Child poverty rate: 14.5% (18th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.3% (18th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.6% (8th lowest)
 
 

50. Wyoming

Children in poverty: 18,013 (2nd least)
Child poverty rate: 13.3% (11th lowest)
State poverty rate: 11.3% (19th lowest)
Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.7% (23rd highest)

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