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Basic Facts about Low-Income Children: Children under 18 Years, 2016

January 30, 2018

Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent are low-income children and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation's poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children's experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of children and their parents. It highlights the important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor children from their more advantaged counterparts.

Basic Facts about Low-Income Children Children under 9 Years, 2016

January 30, 2018

Among all children under 18 years in the U.S., 41 percent live in low-income families and 19 percent—approximately one in five—are poor. This means that children are overrepresented among our nation's poor; they represent 23 percent of the population but comprise 32 percent of all people in poverty. Many more children live in families with incomes just above the poverty threshold. Young children—those under age 9 years—appear to be particularly vulnerable, with 44 percent living in low-income families, including 21 percent living in poor families. Being a child in a low-income or poor family does not happen by chance. Parental education and employment, race/ethnicity, and other factors are associated with children's experience of economic insecurity. This fact sheet describes the demographic, socioeconomic, and geographic characteristics of young children and their parents. It highlights important factors that appear to distinguish low-income and poor young children from their less disadvantaged counterparts.

Health and Social Service Needs of US-Citizen Children with Detained or Departed Immigrant Parents

September 24, 2015

The second report offers findings from fieldwork in five study sites in California, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Texas, examining the involvement of families with a deported parent with health and social service systems, as well as their needs and the barriers they face accessing such services. The researchers find that family economic hardship is highly prevalent following parental detention and deportation, while child welfare system involvement is rarer. Schools represent a promising avenue for interaction with these families and delivery of services, as school officials cannot inquire about immigration status and thus are perceived as safer intermediaries by unauthorized immigrant parents who may be skeptical of interaction with other government agencies. Other important sources of support include health providers, legal service providers and community- and faith-based organizations that immigrants trust.

Implications of Immigration Enforcement Activities for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families: A Review of the Literature

September 17, 2015

This report examines the evidence concerning the impacts of deportation and fear of deportation on unauthorized immigrant families and children. The economic and social instability that generally accompanies unauthorized status is further aggravated for children with a parent's deportation, with effects including psychological trauma, material hardship, residential instability, family dissolution, increased use of public benefits and, among boys, aggression. In a prior Urban Institute study of six immigration raid sites, family income dropped an average of 70 percent during the six months following the arrest of a parent; nearly one-quarter reported parental hunger during that period. At the extreme end, some families became permanently separated as parents lost custody of or contact with their children.

Dropping Out and Clocking In: A Portrait of Teens Who Leave School Early and Work

April 1, 2015

During the needs assessment for Langley Park, a Latino Promise Neighborhood outside Washington, DC, the Urban Institute went into the community expecting to find a significant proportion of young people out of school and unemployed but instead found something else (Scott et al. 2014). The rates of disconnected youth were on par with national averages, but nearly 40 percent of young people between the ages of 16 and 19 were working and not in school. This raises several questions. Is this trend specific to this neighborhood, Latinos, or first- and second-generation immigrants? Or is it a clue to a larger trend?