Change Indicator

Children living in high-poverty areas in United States

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Why This Indicator Matters

Concentrated poverty puts whole neighborhoods, and the people living in them, at risk. High-poverty neighborhoods are much more likely than others to have high rates of crime and violence, physical and mental health issues, unemployment and other problems.

This indicator is included in the KIDS COUNT Child Well-Being Index. Read the KIDS COUNT Data Book to learn more:

Read Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities.
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Definition and Source



Children living in census tracts with poverty rates of 30 percent or more.
Research indicates that as neighborhood poverty rates increase, undesirable outcomes rise and opportunities for success are less likely. The effects of concentrated poverty begin to appear once neighborhood poverty rates rise above 20 percent and continue to grow as the concentration of poverty increases up to the 40 percent threshold. This indicator defines areas of concentrated poverty as those census tracts with overall poverty rates of 30 percent or more because it is a commonly used threshold that lies between the starting point and leveling off point for negative neighborhood effects. The 2022 federal poverty threshold is $29,678 per year for a family of two adults and two children.

Data Source

PRB analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 Decennial Census, Census Supplementary Survey & American Community Survey.


S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.

N.A. - Data not available.

Data are provided for the 50 most populous cities according to the most recent Census counts. Cities for which data are collected may change over time.

A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at  Children living in high-poverty areas.

Last Updated

March 2024