More than 40 million Americans live below the poverty line, and of those facing such financial hardship, children are disproportionately affected. Nearly 12.6 million children under age 18 live in households with poverty level income.
Not only are children at higher risk of poverty, they are also especially vulnerable to poverty’s harmful effects, both in the immediate and long-term. Childhood poverty can negatively impact brain development and has been linked with a greater likelihood of chronic illness, shorter life expectancy, and poor emotional and behavioral health. Those who spend some or all of their childhood in poverty are also less likely to succeed in school or be financially secure later in life.
Nationwide, an estimated 17.5% of children under age 18 live below the poverty line. And though the United States has one of the worst child poverty rates among wealthy, developed countries, in parts of the U.S., child poverty is far less common than average.
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metropolitan area in each state with the lowest child poverty rate.
It is important to note that in six states – Alaska, Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wyoming – there is only one metro area with available data. As a result, the lone metro area ranks as having the lowest child poverty by default only. Among the places on this list, the child poverty rate ranges from about 6% to nearly 25% and in the majority of cases, is below both the child poverty rates statewide and nationwide. Here is a look at the income a family needs to cover normal living expenses in every state.
Households with two parents are more likely to be financially secure than those headed by a single parent, and single-mother households are especially vulnerable to financial insecurity. In most metro areas on this list, the share of households with children headed by a single mother is below the comparable statewide share and the 11.7% national share.
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