Category: Vulnerable Families Research Program

Resource Category Topic Type
Data Snapshot: EITC Continues to Reach Families in Poor Places
Recent proposals in the House and Senate (for example, the Grow American Incomes Now Act) focus on amplifying the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)—a refundable tax credit for low-income workers—to compensate for growing wage inequity. We find that the share of EITC filers who are families with children is especially high in the poorest counties (those counties outlined in black on Map 1), including many places throughout the South.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Safety Net Publication
Data Snapshot: Fewer Young Adults Lack Health Insurance Following Key ACA Provisions
The share of people without health insurance has dropped dramatically since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but declines have been most dramatic among young adults age 19 to 25. In 2008, one-in-three 23-year-olds were uninsured, likely reflecting their graduation from college and therefore, their ineligibility to be covered on parental plans. Beginning in 2010, the ACA allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26; the orange line in Figure 1 reflects this shift, as 26-year-olds, rather than 23-year-olds, became the most often uninsured by 2013.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Health Insurance, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Data Snapshot: Nine Million Publicly Insured Children in the Twelve States Facing Federal CHIP Cutoff by End of Year Primary tabs View(active tab) Edit
Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—the federal program that extends health insurance coverage to low income children not eligible for traditional Medicaid—officially expired on September 30, 2017. Given that states implement CHIP in different ways, states will run out of funds at different times, with twelve states exhausting their federal allotment by the end of 2017 (see Figure 1).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Health Insurance, Safety Net Publication
Data Snapshot: Poorer Working Families With Young Children Are Unlikely to Afford Child Care
Low-income families with working parents face significant burdens paying for child care, which can function as a barrier to work and often means parents must rely on child care arrangements that are less formal and less stable.1 Amid national concerns about the high cost of child care, it is important to keep this issue at the forefront. Given the especially high costs of care for very young children, this snapshot highlights the child care costs faced by families with a child under age 3. Figure 1 shows the share of families paying for child care (bottom sections) by their income level. As a family’s income-to-poverty ratio rises, they are more likely to pay for child care. Poorer families who do pay for child care are much more often paying over 7 percent of their income on child care, the current benchmark of affordability from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.2
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Family, Income Publication
Data Snapshot: Poverty Estimates for New Hampshire Counties
On October 20, 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau made available estimates of poverty and other indicators for 2016 for small geographic areas. In considering these data from the American Community Survey (ACS), it is important to pay close attention to the margins of error (MOE) before reaching any conclusions—especially when doing comparisons such as comparing poverty rates between counties and years.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program New Hampshire, Poverty Publication
Data Snapshot: SNAP Declines Continue in 2016, but Not for Rural Places
In 2016, 12.4 percent of households reported Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) receipt, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. Similar declines in suburbs and cities drove the national decrease, but the 14.8 percent of rural households receiving SNAP did not significantly change between 2015 and 2016.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Urban Publication
Data Snapshot: Working Families with Young Children and No Out-of-Pocket Child Care Struggle Financially
Working families with young children face substantial barriers in accessing and affording quality child care. Figure 1 shows that among working families with a child under age 3, those who do not pay for child care are more likely to live in poor or low-income families than those who do pay for child care (61 percent versus 45 percent).
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Family Publication
Drugs, Alcohol, and Suicide Represent Growing Share of U.S. Mortality
Americans are killing themselves at an alarming rate. Nationwide, the mortality rate1, from drug poisoning, alcohol poisoning, and suicide increased by 52 percent between 2000 and 2014. Most of this increase was driven by a surge in prescription opioid and heroin overdoses, but overdoses from other drugs, suicides by means other than drugs, and alcohol-induced deaths also increased over this period. Between 2010 and 2014, drugs, alcohol, or suicide were the underlying cause of death for 537,000 people and were contributing factors in an additional 133,000 deaths.2 Especially striking is that mortality from drugs, alcohol, and suicide has increased during a period of declining mortality for other major causes of death, including diabetes, heart disease, most cancers, and motor vehicle accidents.3 Not all demographic groups are at equal risk of drug, alcohol, and suicide mortality. The highest rates are among young and middle-aged non-Hispanic white males,4 especially those in nonmetropolitan areas. All three types of mortality increased among white males and females from 2000 to 2014, but drug-induced causes produced the largest mortality increases (Figure 1). White males have the highest combined mortality rate for the three causes, but the combined rate for white females increased the most (by 123 percent). Hispanic females also experienced increases in all three causes of death, but their rates remained far lower than those for both white males and females. Drug and alcohol mortality actually declined among Hispanic males, though Hispanic males continue to have higher alcohol-induced mortality rates than white males. Hispanics are more likely than whites to abstain from drinking alcohol, but Hispanics who do drink consume alcohol in larger quantities and drink more often than whites.5 Although black male drug and alcohol mortality rates exceeded those of white males in the early 2000s, by the end of the decade the rates for black males had declined and were lower than those for white males. Rates for black females are low and relatively stable.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Drugs, Health, Substance Abuse Publication
Education in Chronically Poor Rural Areas Lags Across Generations
As part of the Community and Environment in Rural America (CERA) initiative, the Carsey Institute has been investigating broad trends between rural community types, including the education level of residents and their parents. Since 2007, Carsey researchers have conducted over 17,000 telephone surveys with randomly selected adult Americans from twelve diverse rural locations to ask about both their own and their parents’ educational attainment, as well as their perceptions of school quality in their communities. Survey results conclude that educational achievement varies significantly by type of place in rural America. In chronically poor rural areas, 45 percent of residents have completed only high school or less, compared with 22 to 33 percent in amenity-rich, amenity-transition, and declining resource-dependent rural areas. Although people from all types of rural communities generally have more education than their parents, those in chronically poor rural areas still have relatively low education levels — a disadvantage that persists across generations. This brief highlights the need to invest in the educational systems of chronically poor rural areas where generations of underinvestment have contributed to persistent poverty.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Education, Public Opinion, Rural Publication
EITC is Vital for Working-Poor Families in Rural America
In the 2004 tax year, tax filers claimed almost $40 billion through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), making the EITC one of the largest federal programs that provides cash supports to low-income working families in the United States. The EITC is especially important to rural families throughout the United States. Among poor and near-poor families, those in rural areas are more likely to be working, and they are more likely to be working in low-wage jobs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Employment Rates Higher Among Rural Mothers Than Urban Mothers
As men's jobs in traditional rural industries, such as agriculture, natural resource extraction, and manufacturing disappear due to restructuring of rural labor markets, the survival of the family increasingly depends on women's waged labor. Rural mothers with children under age 6 have higher employment rates than their urban counterparts but have higher poverty rates, lower wages, and lower family income, placing rural mothers and their children in a more economically vulnerable situation than urban mothers.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Employment, Poverty, and Public Assistance in the Rural United States
When asked to describe the rural United States, people usually mention serene and sprawling farmlands, rolling hills, open spaces, and safe, idyllic communities in which to raise children.1 Although there are a lot of acres in rural America, just 6 percent of rural workers depend on agriculture. Twenty-two percent depend on manufacturing,2 and the rest work in retail, sales, health care, construction, transportation, banking, services, tourist industries, and government—similar to their counterparts in cities and suburbs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Poverty, Rural Publication
Exclusionary Discipline Highest in New Hampshire’s Urban Schools
Exclusionary school discipline—that is, suspension and expulsion—disproportionately affects already disadvantaged students on both the national and state levels. In New Hampshire, students attending larger urban schools, male students, students of color, students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, students with disabilities, and homeless students are more likely to experience exclusionary school discipline, although racial disparities appear to stem largely from the greater racial diversity at the urban schools that use this type of discipline at higher rates with all students. Previous research indicates that exclusionary discipline and the resulting loss of classroom time is associated with poorer academic outcomes. Therefore, regardless of the precipitates of exclusionary discipline, it is worth exploring the extent to which exclusionary discipline is experienced among New Hampshire students. Introduction Exclusionary school discipline refers to any school disciplinary practice that isolates students from their classroom environments. In-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), and expulsion are all forms of exclusionary discipline. Nationally, in the 2009–2010 school year, approximately 7.4 percent of all public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 were suspended at least once, which translates to well over three million students.1 Not all students have an equal likelihood of experiencing exclusionary discipline; it is administered to students of color,2 students with disabilities,3 homeless students,4 students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch (FRL),5 6 male students,7 and students attending urban schools8 at increasing and disproportionate rates.
New Hampshire, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, New Hampshire, Urban Publication
Families Continue to Rely on Wives As Breadwinners Post-Recession
This brief presents an analysis of the increased role employed wives played in family economic stability prior to, during, and after the Great Recession, focusing on changes in the contribution of employed wives’ earnings to family earnings by state, region, metropolitan areas, and nonmetro residence.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Income Publication
Family-Friendly Policies for Rural Working Mothers
For working parents, family friendly work policies like paid sick days, flexible time, or medical insurance can reduce work-family conflict and lead to less absenteeism and higher productivity. Working parents in rural America, however, have less access to these policies than their urban counterparts.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Employment, Family, Rural, Urban, Women Publication
Federal Child Nutrition Programs are Important to Rural Households
This brief, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, examines how rural families use four of the major federal child nutrition programs. It finds that 29 percent of rural families with children participate but that there are barriers to these nutrition programs, such as the lack of public transportation and high operating costs for rural schools and child care programs.
Evaluation, Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Food Assistance, Poverty, Rural, Safety Net Publication
Federal EITC Kept 2 Percent of the Population Out of Poverty
This brief documents the proportion of Americans who would have been poor absent the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), all else being equal, across 2010–2014. We examine Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) rates as well as hypothetical increases in the rates of SPM poverty in the absence of federal EITC benefits. It is important to note that we do not model behavioral changes that might result from the removal of EITC benefits, so the analyses presented here are a simplified representation of such a hypothetical scenario. The SPM is an obvious choice for this analysis because unlike the Official Poverty Measure (OPM), which only accounts for before-tax cash income, the SPM also considers in-kind benefits, tax credits, and out-of-pocket work and medical expenses when estimating resources. We present SPM rates for all individuals (Table 1) as well as for children only (Table 2), analyzing trends across regions, metropolitan status, and by state. Importantly, geographic differences in the cost of housing are accounted for in the SPM rates, and consequently the analyses presented here give a more accurate sense of the poverty reducing impact of EITC benefits.1 Data This brief consists of a pooled sample using the Current Population Survey (CPS) Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) between the years of 2011–2015. The CPS ASEC is sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Census Bureau, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), providing annual income, migration, benefits, and insurance information for a nationally representative sample of Americans. The CPS uses a tax model calculator to simulate tax income instead of collecting tax information directly from respondents. Payroll taxes for individuals with earned income are simulated first, and then tax-filing units are estimated based on marital status and household relationship structure. Once the potential tax-filing units have been determined, state and federal taxes and credits are simulated for each unit (for more information, see https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/publications/oharataxmodel.pdf). Because tax credits are simulated, it is possible that some families who receive the EITC may not be included and others who are not eligible for EITC benefits (for example, undocumented immigrants) may be assigned a value due to errors in the tax model.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Safety Net, Tax Publication
Fewer Than Half of WIC-Eligible Families Receive WIC Benefits
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) serves millions of low-income women, infants, and children who are at nutritional risk by providing checks or vouchers for nutritious foods, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and health care referrals.1 Foods eligible for WIC are high in certain nutrients and designed to meet the special nutritional needs of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age 5.2 Research has shown that WIC is a successful and cost-effective program. Numerous studies find that WIC participation improves pre- and postnatal health outcomes; families’ overall nutrition; access to prenatal care, health care for children, and immunizations; and children’s cognitive development and academic achievement.3 In 2015, the average monthly WIC benefit was $43.58 per person. Easing the costs associated with buying nutritional foods frees up family resources for other necessities, like housing and medical costs. Families with pre-tax incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty line are eligible for the program.4 WIC benefits are especially important for rural families, as the poverty rate is higher in rural than in urban areas (18 percent compared with 15 percent in 2014).5 It is important to consider uptake differences by place type as research indicates that rural women perceive more stigma surrounding participation in government assistance programs compared with women in urban areas.6
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Family, Food Assistance, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Food Stamp and School Lunch Programs Alleviate Food Insecurity in Rural America
The Food Stamp and the National School Lunch Programs play a vital role in helping poor, rural Americans obtain a more nutritious diet and alleviate food insecurity and hunger. This fact sheet looks at the extent to which rural America depends on these programs and describes characteristics of beneficiaries of these federal nutrition assistance programs.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Food Assistance, Rural, Safety Net, Young Adults Publication
Forgotten Fifth: Child Poverty in Rural America, The
One in five poor children in this country lives in a rural area. Yet this group of vulnerable young Americans is seldom on the minds of the public or policy makers when they talk about child poverty in the United States. This report highlights child poverty statistics in rural America and compares them to urban areas, discussing how they are affected by family, education, employment, and the government.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Young Adults Publication