A National Resource to Support Excellence in Community Action

CLASP Report: 2013 Census Data on Poverty

New Census Data Tell Us That Poverty Fell in 2013:

Children and Young Adults Still Face the Greatest Risks


Read the complete report

From the Introduction

According to 2013 Census data released today, the overall poverty rate fell by half a percentage point, to 14.5 percent.  Poverty for children fell by nearly 2 percentage points.  Yet children (especially young children) once again experienced the highest rates of poverty in the United States.  Young adults were close behind.  Four years after the Great Recession officially ended, nearly one in five children and young adults lived in poverty.  Young children, black and Hispanic children, and young adults were particularly likely to be poor and, most alarmingly, black children and young adults did not share in the gains that other groups experienced last year.

Data You Can Use from the Report

Read the report for more details about these findings from the 2013 Census:

One in five U.S. children is poor, and two in five live in low-income households.
  • Almost 20 percent of children are poor
  • Children are more likely than adults to be poor
  • Racial and ethnic minority children are disproportionately poor and disproportionately living in deep poverty
  • Young children are the most likely to be poor
  • Two out of every five children live in low- income households
Many children in poverty have working parents.
  • Most poor and low-income children have parents who work hard but for very little pay
  • Because women earn less than men, children in single-mother households are at greater risk of poverty, even when their mothers work
  • Many poor children live in two-parent families, especially Hispanic children
  • Parents’ low-wage work compounds developmental risk for children
One in five young adults is poor, as are two in five families with children that are headed by young adults.
  • Young adults account for a significant share of the poor and are poorer than other adults
  • Youth of color are disproportionately poor
  • Almost 40 percent of families with children that are headed by young adults are poor
  • Many young adults who are poor are working
  • Many young adults, regardless of attachment to school, are poor and low-income

Public Policy Solutions

To turn around these disturbing trends, CLASP offers these key steps to build on the lessons of successful policies to reduce poverty and improve opportunity for children, youth, and families (see the report for further details):
  • Build on and strengthen income and work supports programs that have demonstrated effectiveness
  • Improve the circumstances of low-wage work and increase access to quality jobs
  • Ensure that parents can work and raise children, and implement two- generational policy solutions to help parents and children escape poverty
  • Improve pathways to education and careers for youth and young adults, including young people of color and out- of-school youth, who face the most obstacles

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