Special Report

How Many Children Live in Poverty in Your State

Photo by Mario Tama / Getty Images

Close to 13 million children residing in the United States live in families with incomes below the federal poverty line, a threshold shown to underestimate the financial needs of American households. Here are 25 facts of life the federal poverty rate completely ignores.

Even in countries that are not the world’s richest, high levels of child poverty are shameful and frequently lead to bad outcomes for a society. In the United States, although child poverty has dropped by half over the past 50 years, the current level remains a serious problem. 

Certain factors and circumstances may help keep children out of poverty, while others may push them into poverty. For example, refundable tax credits helped prevent millions of families with children from falling into poverty, while medical care costs and health insurance premiums resulted in more families with children falling into poverty. Here at 15 states where poverty is worse than you think.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Childhood poverty refers to the share of children under the age of 18 living in households with incomes below the poverty threshold. The poverty threshold varies by family size and composition. In 2018, the Census Bureau poverty threshold for a family of three with one child under 18 years old was $20,212.

Click here to see how many children live in poverty in your state

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

1. Alabama
> Children in poverty: 255,186 (16th most)
> Child poverty rate: 23.8 % (6th highest)
> State poverty rate: 16.8% (7th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.1% (6th highest)

See all stories featuring: Alabama

[in-text-ad]

Source: Incomel / Getty Images

2. Alaska
> Children in poverty: 25,327 (4th least)
> Child poverty rate: 14.1 % (18th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.9% (13th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.9% (21st lowest)

See all stories featuring: Alaska

Source: Konoplytska / Getty Images

3. Arizona
> Children in poverty: 324,622 (12th most)
> Child poverty rate: 20.1 % (14th highest)
> State poverty rate: 14.0% (15th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.9% (17th highest)

See all stories featuring: Arizona

Source: dlewis33 / Getty Images

4. Arkansas
> Children in poverty: 170,769 (25th most)
> Child poverty rate: 24.7 % (4th highest)
> State poverty rate: 17.2% (5th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.4% (10th highest)

See all stories featuring: Arkansas

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: trekandshoot / Getty Images

5. California
> Children in poverty: 1,541,067 (2nd most)
> Child poverty rate: 17.4 % (24th highest)
> State poverty rate: 12.8% (25th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.4% (24th highest)

See all stories featuring: California

6. Colorado
> Children in poverty: 149,487 (22nd least)
> Child poverty rate: 11.9 % (7th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 9.6% (6th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.6% (10th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Colorado

[in-text-ad]

Source: jjbers / Flickr

7. Connecticut
> Children in poverty: 102,083 (17th least)
> Child poverty rate: 14.1 % (17th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.4% (10th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.6% (10th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Connecticut

Source: OnickzArtworks / Getty Images

8. Delaware
> Children in poverty: 37,283 (11th least)
> Child poverty rate: 18.7 % (18th highest)
> State poverty rate: 12.5% (24th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3% (22nd lowest)

See all stories featuring: Delaware

Source: TerryJ / Getty Images

9. Florida
> Children in poverty: 819,256 (3rd most)
> Child poverty rate: 19.7 % (15th highest)
> State poverty rate: 13.6% (18th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.8% (18th highest)

See all stories featuring: Florida

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Barry Williams / Getty Images

10. Georgia
> Children in poverty: 504,745 (5th most)
> Child poverty rate: 20.5 % (12th highest)
> State poverty rate: 14.3% (12th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.5% (8th highest)

See all stories featuring: Georgia

11. Hawaii
> Children in poverty: 35,368 (8th least)
> Child poverty rate: 11.9 % (6th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 8.8% (2nd lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.7% (13th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Hawaii

[in-text-ad]

Source: Tashka / Getty Images

12. Idaho
> Children in poverty: 62,855 (13th least)
> Child poverty rate: 14.3 % (19th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.8% (20th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Idaho

Source: library_of_congress / Flickr

13. Illinois
> Children in poverty: 456,926 (7th most)
> Child poverty rate: 16.2 % (24th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 12.1% (22nd lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.3% (25th highest)

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

14. Indiana
> Children in poverty: 275,370 (14th most)
> Child poverty rate: 18.0 % (22nd highest)
> State poverty rate: 13.1% (20th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.8% (18th highest)

See all stories featuring: Indiana

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: RASimon / Getty Images

15. Iowa
> Children in poverty: 97,222 (16th least)
> Child poverty rate: 13.5 % (12th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.2% (18th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.7% (13th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Iowa

Source: lillisphotography / Getty Images

16. Kansas
> Children in poverty: 103,210 (18th least)
> Child poverty rate: 14.9 % (21st lowest)
> State poverty rate: 12.0% (21st lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Kansas

[in-text-ad]

Source: catnap72 / Getty Images

17. Kentucky
> Children in poverty: 225,710 (20th most)
> Child poverty rate: 23.0 % (7th highest)
> State poverty rate: 16.9% (6th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.5% (5th highest)

See all stories featuring: Kentucky

18. Louisiana
> Children in poverty: 283,218 (13th most)
> Child poverty rate: 26.2 % (3rd highest)
> State poverty rate: 18.6% (3rd highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.6% (3rd highest)

See all stories featuring: Louisiana

Source: marcduf / Getty Images

19. Maine
> Children in poverty: 34,878 (7th least)
> Child poverty rate: 14.5 % (20th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.6% (19th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.1% (23rd lowest)

See all stories featuring: Maine

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: peeterv / Getty Images

20. Maryland
> Children in poverty: 152,237 (24th least)
> Child poverty rate: 11.6 % (4th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 9.0% (3rd lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (7th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Maryland

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

21. Massachusetts
> Children in poverty: 163,788 (25th least)
> Child poverty rate: 12.2 % (9th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.0% (8th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.7% (13th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Massachusetts

[in-text-ad]

Source: peeterv / Getty Images

22. Michigan
> Children in poverty: 412,692 (10th most)
> Child poverty rate: 19.4 % (17th highest)
> State poverty rate: 14.1% (13th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4% (13th highest)

See all stories featuring: Michigan

Source: Jacob Boomsma / Getty Images

23. Minnesota
> Children in poverty: 149,502 (23rd least)
> Child poverty rate: 11.7 % (5th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 9.6% (7th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.1% (the lowest)

See all stories featuring: Minnesota

Source: zodebala / Getty Images

24. Mississippi
> Children in poverty: 192,952 (23rd most)
> Child poverty rate: 27.8 % (the highest)
> State poverty rate: 19.7% (the highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 6.5% (the highest)

See all stories featuring: Mississippi

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

25. Missouri
> Children in poverty: 247,209 (18th most)
> Child poverty rate: 18.3 % (20th highest)
> State poverty rate: 13.2% (19th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.5% (20th highest)

See all stories featuring: Missouri

Source: MarkHatfield / Getty Images

26. Montana
> Children in poverty: 35,999 (9th least)
> Child poverty rate: 16.0 % (23rd lowest)
> State poverty rate: 13.0% (22nd highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.9% (21st lowest)

See all stories featuring: Montana

[in-text-ad]

Source: Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

27. Nebraska
> Children in poverty: 60,110 (12th least)
> Child poverty rate: 12.9 % (11th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.0% (15th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (7th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Nebraska

Source: Mlenny / Getty Images

28. Nevada
> Children in poverty: 120,091 (19th least)
> Child poverty rate: 17.7 % (23rd highest)
> State poverty rate: 12.9% (23rd highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.5% (20th highest)

See all stories featuring: Nevada

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

29. New Hampshire
> Children in poverty: 26,830 (5th least)
> Child poverty rate: 10.6 % (3rd lowest)
> State poverty rate: 7.6% (the lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.2% (2nd lowest)

See all stories featuring: New Hampshire

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

30. New Jersey
> Children in poverty: 264,253 (15th most)
> Child poverty rate: 13.7 % (13th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 9.5% (5th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: New Jersey

31. New Mexico
> Children in poverty: 124,024 (20th least)
> Child poverty rate: 26.3 % (2nd highest)
> State poverty rate: 19.5% (2nd highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 6.4% (2nd highest)

See all stories featuring: New Mexico

[in-text-ad]

Source: Terraxplorer / Getty Images

32. New York
> Children in poverty: 743,024 (4th most)
> Child poverty rate: 18.6 % (19th highest)
> State poverty rate: 13.6% (17th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4% (13th highest)

See all stories featuring: New York

33. North Carolina
> Children in poverty: 455,971 (8th most)
> Child poverty rate: 20.2 % (13th highest)
> State poverty rate: 14.0% (14th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4% (13th highest)

See all stories featuring: North Carolina

Source: dlerick / Getty Images

34. North Dakota
> Children in poverty: 17,145 (2nd least)
> Child poverty rate: 9.9 % (2nd lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.7% (11th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.4% (4th lowest)

See all stories featuring: North Dakota

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: Wendy Van / Getty Images

35. Ohio
> Children in poverty: 495,616 (6th most)
> Child poverty rate: 19.5 % (16th highest)
> State poverty rate: 13.9% (16th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4% (13th highest)

See all stories featuring: Ohio

Source: cstar55 / Getty Images

36. Oklahoma
> Children in poverty: 202,779 (22nd most)
> Child poverty rate: 21.7 % (10th highest)
> State poverty rate: 15.6% (8th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.6% (7th highest)

See all stories featuring: Oklahoma

[in-text-ad]

37. Oregon
> Children in poverty: 134,383 (21st least)
> Child poverty rate: 15.7 % (22nd lowest)
> State poverty rate: 12.6% (25th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.2% (24th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Oregon

38. Pennsylvania
> Children in poverty: 434,736 (9th most)
> Child poverty rate: 16.8 % (25th highest)
> State poverty rate: 12.2% (23rd lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.5% (20th highest)

See all stories featuring: Pennsylvania

Source: Image Source / Getty Images

39. Rhode Island
> Children in poverty: 36,135 (10th least)
> Child poverty rate: 18.0 % (21st highest)
> State poverty rate: 12.9% (24th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.5% (20th highest)

See all stories featuring: Rhode Island

[in-text-ad-2]

40. South Carolina
> Children in poverty: 245,821 (19th most)
> Child poverty rate: 22.6 % (8th highest)
> State poverty rate: 15.3% (10th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.3% (11th highest)

See all stories featuring: South Carolina

Source: diversey / Flickr

41. South Dakota
> Children in poverty: 34,201 (6th least)
> Child poverty rate: 16.4 % (25th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 13.1% (21st highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 3.3% (25th highest)

See all stories featuring: South Dakota

[in-text-ad]

Source: Jonathan Ross / Getty Images

42. Tennessee
> Children in poverty: 330,998 (11th most)
> Child poverty rate: 22.3 % (9th highest)
> State poverty rate: 15.3% (9th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.5% (8th highest)

See all stories featuring: Tennessee

Source: theresajam1 / Getty Images

43. Texas
> Children in poverty: 1,545,362 (the most)
> Child poverty rate: 21.1 % (11th highest)
> State poverty rate: 14.9% (11th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 4.2% (12th highest)

See all stories featuring: Texas

44. Utah
> Children in poverty: 87,445 (15th least)
> Child poverty rate: 9.5 % (the lowest)
> State poverty rate: 9.0% (4th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.3% (3rd lowest)

See all stories featuring: Utah

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: roadgeek / Flickr

45. Vermont
> Children in poverty: 13,712 (the least)
> Child poverty rate: 12.1 % (8th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.0% (14th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.9% (21st lowest)

See all stories featuring: Vermont

Source: PumpkinSky / Wikimedia Commons

46. Virginia
> Children in poverty: 252,475 (17th most)
> Child poverty rate: 13.7 % (14th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.7% (12th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Virginia

[in-text-ad]

Source: PhilAugustavo / Getty Images

47. Washington
> Children in poverty: 204,470 (21st most)
> Child poverty rate: 12.5 % (10th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 10.3% (9th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.5% (7th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Washington

48. West Virginia
> Children in poverty: 86,713 (14th least)
> Child poverty rate: 24.5 % (5th highest)
> State poverty rate: 17.8% (4th highest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 5.6% (3rd highest)

See all stories featuring: West Virginia

49. Wisconsin
> Children in poverty: 175,243 (24th most)
> Child poverty rate: 14.0 % (16th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.0% (16th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.6% (10th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Wisconsin

[in-text-ad-2]

Source: 169120689@N03 / Flickr

50. Wyoming
> Children in poverty: 17,986 (3rd least)
> Child poverty rate: 13.8 % (15th lowest)
> State poverty rate: 11.1% (17th lowest)
> Families w/ incomes below $10,000/year: 2.8% (18th lowest)

See all stories featuring: Wyoming

ALERT: Take This Retirement Quiz Now  (Sponsored)

Take the quiz below to get matched with a financial advisor today.

Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests.

Here’s how it works:
1. Answer SmartAsset advisor match quiz
2. Review your pre-screened matches at your leisure. Check out the advisors’ profiles.
3. Speak with advisors at no cost to you. Have an introductory call on the phone or introduction in person and choose whom to work with in the future

Take the retirement quiz right here.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.