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Report: 41% of U.S. Children Live in Low-Income Homes

Forty-one percent of U.S. children lived in low-income households in 2016, according to newly published research from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Of these 41 percent, 19 percent lived in poor households and 22 percent in near poor homes.

The categories are related to the federal poverty threshold (FPT), with “poor … defined as below 100 percent of FPT, and near poor is between 100 percent and 199 percent of the FPT.”

The FTP in 2016 was $24,339 for a family of four with two of them being children, $19,318 for a family of three with one child, and $16,543 for a family of two with one child.

Since 2010, the number of children living in low-income households has declined by 4 percent (1.7 million children), yet children continue to comprise a disproportionate percentage of persons living in low-income households.

“Children are overrepresented among our nation’s poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty,” NCCP stated. “Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold.”

In addition, “Black, American Indian and Hispanic children are disproportionately low income and poor.”

Sixty-one percent of black, 60 percent of American Indian and 59 percent of Hispanic children lived in low-income households in 2016, compared to white and Asian children (both at 28 percent).

The NCCP research was published in late January as a set of fact sheets, which are available here.