Category: Poverty

Resource Category Topic Type
Data Snapshot: Declines in Child Poverty Continue in 2017
The official poverty measure indicates that child poverty declined by 1.1 percentage points between 2016 and 2017, according to analyses of the latest American Community Survey data released today. By 2017, child poverty across the nation was still 0.4 percentage point higher than before the Great Recession. Child poverty remained higher in cities and rural places than in the suburbs. For the first time, rates in cities dipped below the pre-recession level, although poverty is still slightly higher in rural and suburban places than in 2007.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Poverty, Rural, Urban 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: 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
Demographic and Economic Characteristics of Immigrant and Native-Born Populations in Rural and Urban Places
In recent years, researchers have documented the changing demographics of rural areas, with a specific focus on changes in racial-ethnic composition and immigration patterns, particularly the increased migration of Hispanics to rural places. In spite of this attention to the changing demographics of rural America, surprisingly little is known about how rural immigrants compare to both their urban peers and native-born counterparts. In this brief we use American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates to document demographic and economic characteristics of the immigrant and native-born populations in the United States by metropolitan status. We focus on a wide range of demographic and economic indicators that relate to immigrants’ ability to assimilate and thrive in rural America. Our analysis finds that rural immigrants are different than their rural native-born and urban immigrant counterparts on a host of demographic characteristics, including age, education, and family structure. Rural immigrants also differ from urban immigrants with regard to when they arrived in the United States and where from. In terms of economic characteristics, rural immigrants have relatively low family income and high poverty rates, even among those currently working and those who work full time.
Demography Demography, Poverty, Race, Rural, Urban Publication
Demographic Trends in the Manchester-Nashua Metropolitan Area
In the city of Manchester, New Hampshire, 25 percent of children live below the poverty line, a high rate that is in stark contrast to the state's rate of just 10 percent, one of the nation's lowest. That is the most surprising finding from this new analysis of demographic trends in the Manchester-Nashua metropolitan area. The brief presents recent demographic shifts in Manchester, Nashua, and suburban Hillsborough County alongside historical perspectives of the region.
Demography, New Hampshire Birth Rates, Demography, Migration, New Hampshire, Poverty 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, 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
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
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
Gains in Reducing Child Poverty, but Racial-Ethnic Disparities Persist
In 2015, for the second year in a row, child poverty rates declined in the United States. However, familiar patterns in levels and characteristics of child poverty persist: more than one in five children are poor; children of color are at disproportionate risk for poverty; and rates are highest in the South and West and in rural areas and cities (Table 1). This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to investigate patterns of child poverty across race-ethnicities and across regions and place types. We also explore changes in child poverty rates since 2014 and since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. The estimates presented in this brief are based on the official poverty measure (see Box 1 on page 3). Native Americans, Alaskan and Hawaiian natives, and those reporting multiple racial-ethnic backgrounds are excluded from this update because such samples are too small for meaningful analyses.
Vulnerable Families Research Program African Americans, Children, Poverty Publication
Gaps in Youth Opportunity by State
Public discourse on economics in the United States, and around the world, often focuses on rising income and wealth inequality. The “Occupy” movement drew great attention to the rising fortunes of the top one percent while middle- and lower-income Americans lost ground. Vast scholarly, political, and media attention is focused on issues of growing inequality and implications for broader societal cultural shifts as well as economic growth. Less attention has been paid to the changing landscape of opportunities enabling youth to get ahead, to improve their living situation over that of their parents through hard work and determination. Such social mobility has remained fairly stable for generations, but recent evidence across a range of indicia suggests growing gaps in the opportunities available to children in lower socioeconomic status families versus those in families of higher socioeconomic strata. This pushes the American Dream—or the idea that anyone who works hard, and plays by the rules, can get ahead—further out of reach. Such inequality is a potential threat to our social structure as well as our economic well-being.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Children, Education, Employment, Income, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Hard Times Made Harder: Struggling Caregivers and Child Neglect
Poverty is only one of many challenges tied to a report of child neglect. The analysis in this brief finds that neglected children whose caregivers struggle with substance abuse and mental health problems are at significant risk for out-of-home placement. Risk factors for out-of-home placement for neglected children are discussed, as well as a multifaceted approach to services to prevent neglect and out-of-home placement.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Children, Health, Poverty Publication
Household Reports of Energy Assistance Receipt Increased 48 Percent During Recession: Proposed Cuts Threaten Vulnerable Families
This brief examines heating assistance usage and the implications of President Obama's 2012 budget proposal to cut $2.5 billion from the $5.1 billion energy assistance fund for low-income families at a time when families are struggling with higher energy costs amid a difficult economy. The federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists vulnerable families in paying their home heating and cooling bills. Nationwide, from the winter of 2006/2007 to the winter of 2009/2010, there was a 48 percent increase in households receiving energy assistance. This growth appears to have accelerated with the recession, particularly in the rural Northeast and Midwest. Many more families are eligible than receive assistance. Brief author Jessica Carson discusses how proposed cuts would have a concrete and immediate impact on families, particularly those in rural areas and in harsh winter climates.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Family, Housing, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Indicators of New Hampshire Youth Well-Being (co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire)
According to a new study, New Hampshire youth, ages 13 to 24, are more likely to complete school, be employed, and have lower obesity rates than their peers nationwide but fare worse in national measures of alcohol and substance abuse. This brief, a co-publication with the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, provides an overview of youth well-being in New Hampshire calculated from national and state data and compares Granite State youth with peers across the country.
Evaluation, New Hampshire Demography, Education, Family, Health, New Hampshire, Poverty, Young Adults Publication
Low Income and Impoverished Families Pay Disproportionately More for Child Care
According to research based on the 2004 Survey of Income and Program Participation, working families with young children living in poverty pay 32 percent of their income on child care, nearly five times more than families living at more than 200 percent of the poverty level. This brief asks policy makers to consider allowing more subsidies to be available to those who could benefit most from them.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Child Care, Family, Poverty, Safety Net Publication
Low-Income Families in New Hampshire
New Hampshire boasts the nation's lowest percentage of people living in poverty and maintains strong national rankings in other quality-of-life measures. But 48,000 New Hampshire families with low incomes struggle to make ends meet, this issue brief finds. The brief identifies characteristics that heighten families' risk of a lower income and documents recent trends in the economic status of low-income families in the state.
New Hampshire Family, Low Income, New Hampshire, Poverty Publication
Maine Head Start Report: 2017
Founded in 1965, Head Start is designed to promote “school readiness of children under 5 from low-income families through education, health, social, and other services.”1 Created in 1994, Early Head Start focuses specifically on the youngest children—those under age 3, and pregnant women—and provides “early, continuous, intensive, and comprehensive child development and family support services to low-income infants and toddlers, and their families, and pregnant women and their families.”2 The Administration for Children and Families, housed within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, oversees and administers all Head Start programs through the federal Office of Head Start.
Vulnerable Families Research Program Poverty Publication
Many New Hampshire Jobs Do Not Pay a Livable Wage
As the U.S. economy falters and recession looms, 79 percent of jobs in New Hampshire do not pay a wage sufficient for single-parent families with two children to provide basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, child care, and health care. Carroll County has the lowest percentage of livable wage jobs, with only 13 percent of jobs paying a livable wage for single-parent families with two children.
New Hampshire Employment, Family, New Hampshire, Poverty, Wages Publication