Change Indicator

Children in poverty or near poverty (<200% poverty threshold) in Massachusetts

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Why This Indicator Matters

It’s not just people who are living with incomes under the official poverty threshold who struggle to make ends meet. Many families with incomes at twice the official poverty threshold also face economic hardship, and could be called “near poor,” particularly in a state like Massachusetts with relatively high costs.

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Definition and Source



Number – Number of children under 18 under 200% of the federal poverty level.

Percent – Percent of children under 200% of the federal poverty level.

S – Data suppressed: estimate has low statistical reliability due to small sample size and is more likely to be inaccurate.

Poverty status defined by family: either everyone in the family is in poverty or no one in the family is in poverty. Family income is then compared to the Census Bureau’s poverty threshold. 200% is twice the poverty threshold.

Data Source

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B17024. Updated January 2023 with 2017-2021 data.


These are estimates based on a survey, and they may be highly unreliable for towns with small populations due to small sample sizes.

When comparing estimates over time, researchers recommend comparing time periods that do not include overlapping years.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on data collection in 2020. The Census Bureau does not recommend comparing data from 2016-2020 to other years.

Last Updated

January 2023