Child Poverty

Child Poverty in the States Still Record High Levels

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 16, 2014

For More Information Contact:

Patti Hassler
Vice President of Communications and Outreach
202-662-3554 office

Poorest are Children of Color and Under 6In 20 States more than 40 percent of Black Children are Poor

In 35 States more than 30 percent of Hispanic Children are Poor

In 21 States more than 25 percent of Children Under 6 are Poor

In 19 States more than 10 percent of Children are Extremely Poor

In 42 States Child Poverty Rates Significantly Higher than Pre-Recession

Click herefor New Children’s Defense Fund Complete Analysis for National Poverty.

Washington, D.C. – The Children’s Defense Fund analysis of new 2013 state data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals child poverty rates remain at record high levels. Children are the poorest age group, and the poorest are children of color and those under 6. Two states, New Jersey and West Virginia, experienced increases in child poverty, while eight states experienced significant decreases from 2012. In 42 states child poverty remains at record high levels, significantly higher than in 2007 before the recession began.

“Child poverty is a moral blight on America,” said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund. “That children are the poorest, most vulnerable age group is disgraceful and we must protect them with a national floor of decency. Children of color and those under six during the years of rapid brain development are the poorest. Five years into the recovery poor children in the majority of states still have not benefited. We need to make sure political leaders asking for our votes this campaign season make voiceless, voteless children a priority. If we want to build a strong workforce, military and economy, we can and must end child poverty now.”

Poverty is defined as an annual income below $23,834 for an average family of four, or less than $1,986 a month, $458 a week, or $65 a day. Extreme poverty is defined as less than half of the annual poverty level, or less than $11,917 for a family of four.


Ten Best States for Child Poverty

State 2013 Number of
Poor Children
2013 Child
Poverty Rate
New Hampshire 27,122 10.2
North Dakota 19,070 12.0
Alaska 22,377 12.1
Wyoming 18,187 13.2
Hawaii 40,288 13.3
Maryland 180,351 13.6
Minnesota 176,719 14.0
Connecticut 112,723 14.5
Utah. 130,345 14.8
Vermont 18,697 15.3

Ten Worst States for Child Poverty

State                      2013 Number of
Poor Children           
2013 Child
Poverty Rate     
Missiissippi 246,298 34.0
New Mexico 156,610 31.2
Arkansas 202,456 29.0
Louisiana 304,244 27.7
South Carolina 291,832 27.5
Alabama 297,591 27.2
West Virginia 100,008 27.0
Tennessee 389,536 26.5
Georgia 650,910 26.5
Arizona 421,100 26.5


The Children’s Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.