CHILDREN IN POVERTY
In 2004, just over 13 million children
under 18 years of age lived in households with incomes below
the Federal poverty threshold ($19,307 for a family of four);1
this represents 17.8 percent of all children in the United
States. Children represented over one-third of people in
poverty, but only one-quarter of the population.
Poverty affects many aspects of a child’s
life, including living conditions, access to health care,
and adequate nutrition, all of which contribute to health
status. Black and Hispanic children are particularly vulnerable
to poverty. A much higher proportion of Black (33.6 percent)
and Hispanic (28.9 percent) children under age 18 were poor
than were their non-Hispanic White counterparts (10.5 percent).
Children in single-parent families are
particularly likely to be poor: of children under age 6
living with a single mother, 52.6 percent lived in poverty,
approximately five times the rate of their counterparts
in married-couple families. Although they compose only 18
percent of all families in the United States, female-headed
households represent about half of all families in poverty.