UNH Finds Child Poverty Continues to Decline Nationwide

Thursday, September 14, 2017

DURHAM, N.H. – National data released this morning show that child poverty rates declined across the United States, from 20.7 percent in 2015 to 19.5 percent in 2016, a number still 1.5 percentage points higher than before the Great Recession began in 2007. Researchers at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire report that rural places and cities have the highest child poverty while suburbs have the lowest.

The researchers also noted that child poverty declined in 28 states and rose in none. Child poverty remains among the lowest at 7.9 percent in New Hampshire---where poverty fell by an estimated 2.8 percentage points since 2015, and is now on par with 2007. New Mexico is the only state with more than 30 percent of children living below the poverty line. View the data snapshot here https://carsey.unh.edu/publication/snapshot/16-child-pov-decline and state table here: http://unh.me/DmFJ30f9Q1K.

“Child poverty remained higher in cities and rural places than in the suburbs however across place types within states, there is high variability in the return to pre-recession levels,” the researchers said. However, “It is critical to remember that the official poverty measure is only one measure of economic challenge and many families living above the poverty line still struggle to make ends meet.”

The research was conducted by Beth Mattingly, director of research on vulnerable families at the Carsey School and research assistant professor of sociology at UNH; Andrew Schaefer, a vulnerable families research scientist at the Carsey School; and Jessica Carson, a vulnerable families research scientist at the Carsey School.

The Carsey School of Public Policy conducts research, leadership development, and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. They address pressing challenges, striving for innovative, responsive, and equitable solutions at all levels of government and in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space. 

Editor's Notes: 

Editors: Beth Mattingly can be reached at beth.mattingly@unh.edu and 240-593-4297. Andrew Schaefer can be reached at andrew.schaefer@unh.edu and 603-657-6533. Jessica Carson can be reached at jessica.carson@unh.edu and 603-219-3321. UNH Media Relations has an on-site ReadyCam broadcast studio available through VideoLink (617-340-4300) for television interviews and an ISDN line for radio interviews.