RAND State Statistics recently updated its Children & Families in Poverty database, containing the estimated number of persons and children ages 0-18, 0-4, and 5-17 in poverty. Estimates are not direct counts or from surveys, but a result of modeling income and poverty estimates by combining survey data with population estimates and administrative records. Here are some of the highlights.
From 2019 to 2020, the U.S. experienced a 2.8% decrease in childhood poverty for all ages, dropping from 39,490,096 children in poverty to 38,371,394 (See Table 1). The District of Columbia experienced the most significant increase of children in poverty over this one-year period, growing 7.3%, followed by Georgia (4.8%), New Jersey (2.9%), South Carolina (1.1%), and Nevada (0.5%). The total number of children in poverty dropped 16% in Utah, the most significant decrease from 2019 to 2020, followed by Pennsylvania (-9.1%), Rhode Island (-8.3%), Nebraska (-7.4%), and Vermont (-7.2%) (see Figure 1).
Table 1 - Total Children in Poverty, United States, 2019-2020
Figure 1 - Total Children in Poverty, United States, 2019-2020
The U.S. also experienced a significant decrease of children in poverty over the five-year period from 2015 to 2020, dropping 16.9%, from 46,153,077 children to 38,371,394 (see Figure 2). All states experienced a decrease in childhood poverty during this five-year period, with North Dakota experiencing the smallest decrease of 3.6%. Other states with small decreases were Alaska (-8.3%), Maryland (-8.5%), Nevada (-8.9%), and Texas (-9.2%). Utah childhood poverty dropped 29.2%, the most significant decrease over this five-year period, followed by California (-25.1%), Rhode Island (-24.6%), Idaho (-24.1%), and Oregon (-23.9%) (See Figure 3).
Figure 2 - Total Children in Poverty, United States, 2015-2020
Over a longer period of time, from 2005 to 2020, the U.S. experienced a 0.4% increase of children in poverty, growing from 38,231,474 children to 38,371,394 (See Figure 3). Nevada experienced a 46.8% growth of children in poverty over this fifteen-year period, followed by Delaware (23.9%), Florida (19.0%), Connecticut (18.1%), and Maryland (17.6%). West Virginia experienced the the largest decrease from 2005 to 2020, dropping 13.8%, followed by Rhode Island (-11.6%), Maine (-11.2%), Vermont (-10.3%), and Mississippi (-9.3%) (see Figure 4).
Figure 3 - Total Children in Poverty, United States, 2005-2020
Figure 4 - Total Children in Poverty, United States, 2005-2020