Poverty data from the American Community Survey were released on September 17, 2015, allowing a detailed examination of poverty in 2014 across the United States. In this brief, authors Beth Mattingly, Andrew Schaefer, and Jessica Carson discuss changes in child poverty between 2013 and 2014 and since 2009, just after the Great Recession ended. They report that in 2014, 21.7 percent of children were poor, representing a modest, but statistically significant decline since 2013 (by 0.6 percentage point), but still 1.7 percentage points higher than in 2009. Though cities and rural places remain home to the highest rates of child poverty, child poverty declined in all place types, with the largest declines in rural America, where child poverty fell by a full percentage point. With an overall poverty rate of 38.4 percent, black children are the most disadvantaged. This rate is nearly three times the non-Hispanic white child poverty rate and 6.3 percentage points higher than the Hispanic child poverty rate. They conclude that it is imperative to keep state and federal policies that ameliorate child poverty on the radar, as extensive research documents the long-term negative consequences of growing up poor.

Publication Date

Summer 9-18-2015


National Brief No. 90


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type


Included in

Sociology Commons