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Change in Child Poverty by Select Demographic Characteristics: 2007-2012

Publication Date
Oct 22, 2013

Since the Great Recession poverty has increased overall and particularly for children. Nearly all of the increase in child poverty occurred between 2007 and 2010 with the national rate rising by 3.8 percentage points, as shown by the orange bars (from 18.0 percent to 21.8 percent). In 2011 and 2012 the national poverty rate leveled off with little change, as shown by the green bars.

 

Table 1. Child Poverty Rate for Selected Demographics, 2007, 2010 and 2012

 

2007          Poverty Rate

2010          Poverty Rate

2012           Poverty Rate

2007-2010  Pct Point change

2010-2012  Pct Point change

Total Population

18.0

22.0

21.8

4.0

-0.2

Age

         

0-5 years

21.1

25.8

24.8

4.7

-1.0

6-11 years

17.3

21.6

22.6

4.3

1.1

12-17 years

15.7

18.6

18.3

2.9

-0.3

Race and Ethnicity

         

Hispanic

28.6

35.0

33.8

6.4

-1.2

White non-Hispanic

10.1

12.4

12.3

2.2

0.0

Black

34.5

39.1

37.9

4.6

-1.2

Asian

12.5

14.4

13.8

1.8

-0.5

Two or More Races

18.2

24.9

23.4

6.7

-1.5

Immigrant Generation

         

1st generation

26.8

32.1

27.9

5.3

-4.2

2nd Generation

22.2

30.1

27.9

7.9

-2.2

3rd+ Generation

16.4

19.2

19.7

2.8

0.5

Family Type

         

Married family

8.5

11.6

11.1

3.1

-0.5

Male-headed family

22.3

28.4

26.4

6.1

-2.0

Female-headed family

41.8

45.8

46.4

4.0

0.6

Note: White non-Hispanic refers to White alone. Black refers to Black alone and Asian refers to the Asian group alone. Hispanics may be any race.
First generation is foreign-born.  Second Generation is native-born with a foreign-born parent(s). Family type is a count of children in families.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

 

Table 2 shows that since the start of the Great Recession in 2007, poverty increased somewhat more for the youngest children (ages 0-5 years), as well as Hispanic children, Black children, and children of two or more races. Second generation children and those living in single-parent families also experienced a greater rise in poverty compared with their peers in native-born or married parent families. 

 

Table 2. Change in the Child Poverty Rate from 2007 to 2012

 

Share of the Poor 2012

2007          Poverty Rate

2010          Poverty Rate

2012           Poverty Rate

2007-2010  Pct Point change

2007-2012  Pct Point change

Total Population

[100.0]

18.0

22.0

21.8

4.0

3.8

Age

 

         

0-5 years

[36.7]

21.1

25.8

24.8

4.7

3.7

6-11 years

[34.3]

17.3

21.6

22.6

4.3

5.4

12-17 years

[29.0]

15.7

18.6

18.3

2.9

2.6

Race and Ethnicity

 

         

Hispanic

[37.2]

28.6

35.0

33.8

6.4

5.2

White non-Hispanic

[44.0]

10.1

12.4

12.3

2.2

2.2

Black

[38.6]

34.5

39.1

37.9

4.6

3.4

Asian

[4.6]

12.5

14.4

13.8

1.8

1.3

Two or More Races

[7.8]

18.2

24.9

23.4

6.7

5.2

Immigrant Generation

 

         

1st generation

[4.8]

26.8

32.1

27.9

5.3

1.1

2nd Generation

[27.6]

22.2

30.1

27.9

7.9

5.7

3rd+ Generation

[67.6]

16.4

19.2

19.7

2.8

3.3

Family Type

 

         

Married family

[33.7]

8.5

11.6

11.1

3.1

2.7

Male-headed family

[8.0]

22.3

28.4

26.4

6.1

4.1

Female-headed family

[58.3]

41.8

45.8

46.4

4.0

4.6

             

Note: White non-Hispanic refers to White alone. Black refers to Black alone and Asian refers to the Asian group alone. Hispanics may be any race.
First generation is foreign-born.  Second Generation is native-born with a foreign-born parent(s). Family type is a count of children in families.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

"

Change in Child Poverty by Age

  • In 2012, one of every four U.S. children under age 5 lived in poverty. From well before the recession, children under 5 years of age have had higher poverty rates than older children.
  • The child poverty rate climbed most steeply for children ages 6-11 years, increasing by 5.3 percentage points from 2007 to 2012.
  • The number of poor children in each age group increased. Compared with 2007, the poor population in 2012 had increased by about 1.4 million children ages 6-11 years,  700,000 children ages 0-5, and 700,000 adolescents.
  • The largest number of poor children is made up of those ages 0-5 years, a total of 5.9 million in 2012.

Figure 1a. Child Poverty by Age, 2007-2012

 

Ages 0-5

Ages 6-11

Ages 12-17

     

2007

21.1

17.3

15.7

     

2008

21.7

19.1

16.2

     

2009

24.3

20.4

17.4

     

2010

25.8

21.6

18.6

     

2011

25.0

22.0

18.7

     

2012

24.8

22.6

18.3

     

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Figure 1b. Child Poverty by Age, 2007 and 2012

 Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Figure 1c.  Number of Poor Children by Age, 2007 and 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ages 0-5

Ages 6-11

Ages 12-17

     

2007

5.2

4.1

4.0

     

2012

5.9

5.5

4.7

     

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Change in Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity

  • Since 2007 poverty increased steeply for Black Children, Hispanic children, and children of two or more races.
  • The child poverty rate increased most, by 5.2 percentage points each, for Hispanic children and children identified with two or more races between 2007 and 2012.
  • The highest child poverty rates in 2007 and 2012 were experienced by Black children at 34.5 percent and 37.9 percent, respectively.
  • The number of white non-Hispanic children in poverty grew by about 500,000 from 2007 to 2012. Over the same period the number of poor Hispanic children increased by 1.5 million for a total of 6 million Hispanic children living in poverty, the largest number of any group.

Figure 2a. Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity, 2007 and 2012

 

Hispanic

White non-Hispanic

Black

Asian

Two or more races

 

2007

28.6

10.1

34.5

12.5

18.2

 

2008

30.6

10.6

34.7

14.6

19.0

 

2009

33.1

11.9

35.7

14.0

25.3

 

2010

35.0

12.4

39.1

14.4

24.9

 

2011

34.1

12.5

38.8

13.5

23.1

 

2012

33.8

12.3

37.9

13.8

23.4

 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

 

Figure 2b. Child Poverty by Race and Ethnicity, 2007 and 2012

     

Hispanic

White, non-Hispanic

Black

Asian

Two or more races

   

2007

28.6

10.1

34.5

12.5

18.2

   

2012

33.8

12.3

37.9

13.8

23.4

   
               

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Figure 2c. Number of Poor Children by Race and Ethnicity, 2007 and 2012

Hispanic

White, non-Hispanic

Black

Asian

Two or more races

     

2007

4.5

4.3

3.9

0.4

0.4

     

2012

6.0

4.8

4.2

0.5

0.8

     
                 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Change in Child Poverty by Family Type

  • Children in single-parent families experienced a greater increase in poverty than their peers in married couple families since the start of the Great Recession.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, poverty increased by 4.1 and 4.6 percentage points, respectively, for children in male-headed families and female-headed families.
  • Since 2007 the number of poor children in female-headed families increased by 1.3 million and totaled 9.4 million poor children in 2012.
  • Since 2007 the number of poor children in married families increased by 1.1 million for a total of 5.4 million in 2012.

Figure 3a. Child Poverty by Family Type, 2007 and 2012

 

 

 

 

 

       
 

Married Family

Male-headed family

Female-headed family

     

2007

8.5

22.3

41.8

     

2008

9.8

22.8

42.2

     

2009

11.0

28.7

43.6

     

2010

11.6

28.4

45.8

     

2011

11.0

25.4

46.4

     

2012

11.1

26.4

46.4

     
             

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

 

Figure 3b. Child Poverty by Family Type, 2007 and 2012

 

Married family

Male-headed family

Female-headed family

       

2007

8.5

22.3

41.8

       

2012

11.1

26.4

46.4

       
               

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Figure 3c. Number of Poor Children by Family Type, 2007 and 2012

Married family

Male-headed family

Female-headed family

       

2007

4.3

0.9

8.1

       

2012

5.4

1.3

9.4

       
     

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

Change in Child Poverty by Immigrant Generation

  • Both prior to and since the Great Recession, third and later generation children have had lower poverty rates than their peers in immigrant families.
  • First generation children (the foreign-born) had higher poverty rates than the second generation (children born to foreign-born parents) from 2007 through 2011.
  • Second generation children experienced the most poverty increase between 2007 and 2012 at 5.7 percentage points.
  • Following the Great Recession, child poverty fell more among the first generation. By 2012, the poverty rate for both first and second generation children was 27.9 percent.
  • Most poor children in 2012 were either second generation (4.4 million) or third and later generation (10.9 million) with a small minority in the first generation (800,000).

Figure 4a. Child Poverty by Immigrant Generation, 2007 and 2012

 

1st Generation

2nd Generation

3rd+ Generation

     

2007

26.8

22.2

16.4

     

2008

29.1

24.7

17.0

     

2009

28.9

27.4

18.5

     

2010

32.1

30.1

19.2

     

2011

29.6

27.8

19.8

     

2012

27.9

27.9

19.7

     

 

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements, 2008-2013.

Figure 4b. Child Poverty by Immigrant Generation, 2007 and 2012

1st Generation

2nd Generation

3rd+ Generation

   

2007

26.8

22.2

16.4

   

2012

27.9

27.9

19.7

   
             

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.

 

Figure 4c.  Number of Poor Children by Immigrant Generation, 2007 and 2012

1st Generation

2nd Generation

3rd+ Generation

     

2007

0.9

3.2

9.2

     

2012

0.8

4.4

10.9

     
               
             

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements.