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Change Indicator

Children in poverty by race and ethnicity in United States

Children in poverty by race and ethnicity

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Note: Non-consecutive years appear adjacent in the trend line
because one or more years have been deselected.

Definition and Source



The share of children under age 18 who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, by race and ethnicity.

The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition.
For 2021, the poverty threshold for a family of 4 with two children was $27,479. Poverty status is not determined for people in military barracks, institutional quarters, or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children). The data are based on income received in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Data Source

Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, 2001 Supplementary Survey, 2002 through 2021 American Community Survey.

These were derived from ACS table C17001 (B,C,D,E,H,I). 


Updated September 2022.
S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points. 
N.A. - Data not available.
Note: Differences in estimates by race and ethnicity between 2021 ACS and prior years may be the result of demographic changes, and/or differences in question wording (the ACS question on race was revised in 2020 to make it consistent with the 2020 Census race question), processing, coding updates, or methodological differences in the population estimates used as controls. For more information, see the ACS Race User Note: Improvements to the Race Question.
A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at Children in poverty by race and ethnicity.

Last Updated

September 2022