Change Indicator

Families with children in poverty in Hawaii

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Why This Indicator Matters

Of all age groups, children are most likely to live in poverty. Growing up in poverty threatens healthy child development.1 Families in poverty are more likely to have an inadequate standard of living and unmet needs for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, and employment opportunity. Poverty also increases risk of stressors including strained family relationships, unsafe environment, transportation difficulties, and inability to afford childcare.2

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Definition and Source



Percent of families with related children that are below poverty level

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Various Years, B17010: Poverty Status in the Past 12 Months of Families by Family Type by Presence of Related Children Under 18 Years By Age of Related Children - Universe: Families.

Technical Notes:
Estimates for the percent of families with children under the federal poverty level includes families with children who are related to but may not be the children of the householder.

Estimates for Kauai in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 2018-2021 only offer medium reliability and should be used with caution. For more information, contact the Center on the Family.

Please note, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates provide average characteristics aggregated over a 5-year period. The primary advantage of using multiyear estimates is the increased statistical reliability of the data for less populated areas and small population subgroups. However, 5-year estimates are less current than single year estimates (i.e., since they are derived from averages over five calendar years) and should not be compared to single year estimates. The Census Bureau suggests comparing periods that do not overlap, such as comparing 2007-2011 with 2012-2016, which means waiting longer to identify a trend (for more information, read the comparison guidance and Period Estimates in the American Community Survey). However, in areas undergoing fundamental shifts in the size or composition of the population, change may be so substantial that it will be obvious after only a few years. Please see the ACS handbook on Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data for more information. 

Following pandemic-related data collection disruptions, the Census Bureau revised its methodology to reduce nonresponse bias in data collected in 2020. After evaluating the effectiveness of this methodology, the Census Bureau determined the standard, full suite of 2016–2020 ACS 5-year data are fit for public release, government and business uses. To learn more about changes to the methodology, view the methodology user note.


1 Demo, David H. and Martha J.Cox. 2000. “Families with Children: A Review of the Research in the 1990s.” Journal of Marriage and Family 62: 876-895.
2 Yuan, S, Kole, S. Hwang, S. Manglanit, M. Yuen, S., & He, S.J. 2009. “Quality of Life in Hawaii, 2009 Report: Framework, Indicators, and Technical Documentation.” Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii, Center on the Family.

Families with children in poverty .

Last Updated

December 2023