Economy
Children Living in Poverty


Children Living in Poverty

To navigate, click on the + or – to zoom in or out, and on the arrows to see the legend

What does this measure?

The number of children under 18 living in households with incomes below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2017, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $24,858.

Why is this important?

Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives. Medical research has found evidence that high levels of poverty-related stress during childhood cause biological changes that can lead to long-term health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

How is our county doing?

In 2013-17, 25% of children under 18 in Erie County lived in households with incomes below the poverty line, up 9 percentage points from 2000. Pennsylvania and the nation saw smaller increases during the same period. Erie County's percentage of children below the poverty line was higher than the state (19%) and the nation (20%). In the City of Erie, 39% of children lived below the poverty line in 2013-17. This was an 12-point increase since 2000.

How do we compare to similar counties?

The percentage of children in Erie County who lived in households with incomes below the poverty line was higher than Stark County, OH, and Broome County, NY, at 22% and 23%, and about even with Luzerne County, at 26%. Stark and Broome saw increases since 2000 that were similar to Erie, while Luzerne experienced a larger increase of 11 percentage points.

Notes about the data

Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Children Living in Poverty
20002008-122013-17
United States17%21%20%
Pennsylvania15%18%19%
Erie County, PA16%24%25%
Broome County, NY16%24%23%
Stark County, OH13%22%22%
Luzerne County, PA15%25%26%
Erie City27%40%39%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of Children Living in Poverty
20002008-122013-17
United States11,711,49115,188,84414,710,485
Pennsylvania421,745502,796490,831
Erie County, PA11,16314,73714,866
Broome County, NY7,4389,2628,571
Stark County, OH12,18918,93017,201
Luzerne County, PA10,20615,71616,037
Erie City7,0669,5818,616

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND | ERIE COUNTY
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employees Increasing
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Median Age Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Decreasing
Foreign Born Population Increasing
Household Types Not Applicable
Average Household Size Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Public Assistance Maintaining
Change in Average Salary Decreasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Education Level Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Median Rent Maintaining
Student Performance in Grade 3 Reading Increasing
Student Performance in Grade 3 Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Maintaining
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Education Level of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Air Quality Increasing
Water Quality Maintaining
Recycling Tons Per Capita Maintaining
Solid Waste Per Capita Maintaining
Vehicles by Fuel Type Not Applicable
Mortality Rate Decreasing
Death from Heart Disease Decreasing
Death from Cancer Decreasing
Death from Stroke Decreasing
Death from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease Increasing
Hypertension Prevalance Increasing
Diabetes Prevalence Increasing
Asthma Increasing
People Without Healthcare Coverage Decreasing
People Without a Primary Care Physician Increasing
Routine Checkups Increasing
People Who Cannot Afford Healthcare Decreasing
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Children Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Teens Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Adult Smokers Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Decreasing
Binge Drinking Maintaining
Infant Mortality Decreasing
Low Birth Weight Babies Not Applicable
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Non Smoking During Pregnancy Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing