Change Indicator

Children in poverty by age (5-year estimates) in Montana

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Why This Indicator Matters

Growing up poor has wide-ranging and long-lasting repercussions.

Poverty elevates a child’s risk of experiencing behavioral, social and emotional and health challenges. Child poverty also reduces skill-building opportunities and academic outcomes, undercutting a young student’s capacity to learn, graduate high school and more.

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Definition and Source



The number of children age birth to 4, 5 to 17, birth to 17, and 18 to 24 who are living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold.

The denominator for the percentages is the total child population in each respective age group for whom poverty status is determined in respective geographic areas. Children for whom poverty status is determined include children living in households where they are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. Thus, children living in foster care or in a group/institutional setting are excluded from this indicator.

Data Source

American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates, Table B17001.


The federal poverty thresholds are updated each year by the U.S. Census Bureau and were established in 1964 using guidelines set by the Social Security Administration. Current thresholds can be found here.

NA - Estimates are suppressed when unreliable or the relative standard error is greater than 30%.
GEOGRAPHY - Data reflect the child’s place of residence.
DATE - ACS data reflect a 5-year pooled estimate. That is, the estimate is the result of data being continuously collected nearly every day for five years.
LIMITATIONS - Characteristics for geographic areas experiencing dynamic change due to things such as an environmental catastrophe (e.g., flood) or a plant closing will be mitigated since these estimates cover five calendar years of data. Caution is needed when using the multiyear estimates for estimating year-to-year change in a particular characteristic. This is because four of the five years in the 5-year estimate overlap with the next year’s estimate. Ideally, trend analysis with multiyear estimates should be done using estimates from non-overlapping periods (e.g., 2006-2010 and 2011-2015).

Data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. The degree of uncertainty for an estimate arising from sampling variability is represented in a margin of error. Estimates are considered unreliable. For reliable estimates, margins of error corresponding to a 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at Children in poverty by age (5-year estimates).

Last Updated

December 2023