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Percent of Families with Children Under 18 Living Below the Federal Poverty Level

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According to the Child Trends Data Bank, in 2005, 17 percent of children under the age of 18 were living in families with incomes below the federal poverty level, a percentage that had not changed since 2003. Additionally, 7.7 percent of children lived in extreme poverty, meaning their family income was below 50 percent of the poverty level. The U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty threshold in 2006 was $16,242 for a family of three with two children. Children raised in poverty often have inadequate access to quality healthcare, childcare, schools, neighborhoods and housing. This puts them at an increased risk for chronic health conditions, lack of cognitive stimulation, violence, and exposure to environmental toxins. They are also more likely to experience abuse or neglect, inadequate nutrition, divorce, and as adults, earn lower wages than their peers. The Self Sufficiency Standard, created by Wider Opportunities for Women calculates income levels needed to sustain various family compositions in order for the family to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. According to the Missouri Women’s Council, in St. Louis City, County and St. Charles County, one adult raising an infant and a preschooler would need to earn slightly less than $16.00 per hour, or $33,000 annually in order to meet the standard. Likewise, in the metro-East, the same family would need to earn $35,000 a year to be self-sufficient.

Percent of Families with Children Under 18 Living Below the Federal Poverty Level

The Top 10 results for 2009 (ranked by % Poverty)

Zip Code% PovertyFamilies with Children in PovertyFamilies with Children Under 18Year

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Calculation: (Total number of families with children under age 18 living below the Federal Poverty Level/Total 2006 estimated number of families with children under age 18 ) x 100.

Calculations made by Vision for Children at Risk.