What is it?
Poverty is the condition of not having enough income to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and health care. Because children are dependent on others, they enter or avoid poverty by virtue of their family’s economic circumstances.
How is Poverty Status Determined?
Poverty status is determined by comparing the income of a family to the poverty thresholds established by the U.S. Census Bureau. There are 48 poverty thresholds and each family is assigned to a threshold based on family size including children. If the income of a family is below the threshold appropriate for that family, the family is considered to be in poverty and each individual in the family has the same poverty status. For individuals who live alone, their own income is compared to the threshold.
Why is it important?
Results from a number of studies support poverty’s association with poor outcomes for children. Some of the ways in which poverty manifests itself is through inadequate nutrition, exposure to fewer learning experiences, family instability, lower quality schools, increased exposure to environmental toxins and dangerous neighborhoods; all of which serve as barriers to children reaching their full potential. The consequences are that children living in poverty are at greater risk of a wide range of social, behavioral, physical and mental health problems than children living at or above the poverty level. These risks are also higher for children who are in poverty at an early age and/or are in poverty for a number of years. For example, children who experience poverty during their preschool or early years have a higher probability of poor academic achievement and dropping out of school than those who experience poverty at a later age. The economic and social costs of poverty are observable in the form of higher crime, neighborhoods that are unattractive to business due to a lack of a skilled workforce and higher costs associated with the overall poorer health of the population.
For more in-depth discussion of child poverty and its effects see:
How are we doing?
The Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey estimates that there are approximately 13.2 million children under the age of 18 in the United States living in poverty. This figure comprises18.2 % (margin of error +/- 0.2 at 90% confidence level) of all children under 18 in the U.S.
Poverty Status of Pinellas County’s Children Under 18
The following chart depicts the poverty status of Pinellas County’s children under the age of 18 for 2006-08. The chart is based on the ratio of family income to the poverty threshold. Sample poverty thresholds for 2008 are shown in the top portion of the bar. Of the estimated 171,000 children in Pinellas County, approximately 29,000 children, 16.9% (margin of error +/- 1.7 at 90% confidence level), of the total, fell below the poverty threshold. Six percent, approximately 10,000 children, lived in families with incomes below 50% of the poverty threshold.
The percentage of Pinellas’ under 18 population living in poverty (16.9%) in 2006-08 was below the U.S. average (18.2%) and Florida (17.6%). A comparison of Pinellas to that of the U.S., Florida and other counties of similar size is shown below.
- Slightly more than two-thirds of Pinellas’ under 18 population in poverty were under 12 years of age.
The poverty rate for Pinellas’ total population was substantially below that of Pinellas’ under 18 population. In 2006-08, approximately 101,000 individuals, 11.2% (margin of error +/- 0.5 at 90% confidence level) of Pinellas’ total population, were living in poverty.
- Pinellas County’s overall poverty rate was below the U.S., Florida and similarly sized Florida counties except Palm Beach.
Pinellas County Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
According to the 2006-08 American Community Surveys, 53% of Pinellas County’s under 18 population in poverty was estimated to be white, 36% was black and 8% was multiracial or other races. Sixteen percent of the under 18 population in poverty was Hispanic.
In contrast to the under 18 population, 69% of Pinellas County’s total population in poverty was white, 23% was black and 8% was multiracial or other races. Eleven percent of the total population in poverty was Hispanic.
Poverty Rates of Pinellas County’s Under 18 Population by Race
During 2006-08, the percentage of black youths under 18 living in poverty (black youths in poverty/total black youths) was more than triple that of white youths (37.7% vs. 12.0%). The percentage of Hispanic youths in poverty was 25.7%, more than twice that of whites.
Poverty Status of Pinellas County Families with Children by Family Type
Related children are all people in a household under the age of 18, regardless of marital status, who are related to the householder. The householder's spouse or foster children, regardless of age, are not included.
A family includes a householder and one or more people living in the same household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. All people in a household who are related to the householder are regarded as members of his or her family. Families may be a "Married Couple Family," "Single Parent Family," "Stepfamily," or "Subfamily."
The person, or one of the people, in whose name the home is owned, being bought, or rented.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Glossary
Pinellas County families with related children under the age of 18 headed by a single female householder (no spouse present) accounted for almost two-thirds of all Pinellas families living in poverty in 2006-08. A comparison of Pinellas to the U.S., Florida and similarly sized Florida counties is shown below:
Households led by single black females were twice as likely to be in poverty as households led by single white females. Hispanic females were also significantly more likely to be in poverty than whites.
According to the 2000 Census, Pinellas County zip codes with the highest number of families with related children under 18 living in poverty are 33705, 33711 and 33712 and are located in the southern portion of Pinellas County (click to view poverty map 1.) These same zip codes are also among those with the highest percentage of families in poverty (click to view poverty map 2.)
- Department of Health (DOH) – Healthy Families
- All Neighborhood Family Centers
- Alpha House of Pinellas – Residential
Read More About It:
Child Poverty Persistence: http://www.urban.org/publications/412126.html
Children in Extreme Poverty in the South and the Nation
2010 Child Well-Being Index
Who Are America’s Poor Children? http://www.nccp.org/publications/pub_912.html
- Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Aged 12-17
- Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Aged 6-11
- Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Under Age 18
- Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Under Age 3
- Basic Facts About Low-Income Children: Children Under Age 6
Child Welfare League of America Florida Fact Sheet 2008: http://www.cwla.org/advocacy/statefactsheets/2008/florida.htm
Incomes, Earnings, and Poverty from the 2007 American Community Survey: http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/acs-09.pdf
Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007: http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf
The State of Working Florida: http://www.risep-fiu.org/reports/State_of_Working_Florida_2008.pdf