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US juveniles living below the poverty

The proportion of juveniles living below the poverty level has declined substantially from its peak in 1993, but it is well above that of older Americans.
Percent in poverty by age, 1975-2006

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  • In 2006, 12% of all persons lived at or below their poverty thresholds. This proportion was far greater for persons under age 18 (17%) than for those ages 18-64 (11%) and those above age 64 (9%).
  • Between 1993 and 2006, the juvenile poverty rate declined by 5 percentage points, compared with a 2-percentage point decline for persons age 18 and older.
  • In the mid-1970s, the proportions of juveniles and senior citizens living in poverty were about the same. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the proportion of senior citizens in poverty declined, while the juvenile poverty rates increased before falling back at the end of the century to levels of the mid-1970s.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on December 13, 2007.

In 2006, black juveniles and Hispanic juveniles were 3 times as likely to live in poverty as non-Hispanic white juveniles. Percent under age 18 in poverty by race/ethnicity, 1975-2006

Note: Poverty statistics on American Indians and Alaska Natives were not presented in the source reports. Race categories do not include persons of Hispanic ethnicity.

In 2006, the proportion of juveniles in poverty ranged from a low of 6% in New Hampshire to a high of 32% in the District of Columbia.

office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention

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