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Juvenile Population Characteristics
Poverty
Q: How has the proportion of juveniles living in poverty changed since the 1970's?
A: In 2011, the proportion of juveniles living below the poverty level was at its highest point since the early 1990s.

Percent in poverty by age, 1975-2011

Year Under 18 18-64 65 & over
1975
17.1%
9.2%
15.3%
1976
16.0
9.0
15.0
1977
16.2
8.8
14.1
1978
15.9
8.7
14.0
1979
16.4
8.9
15.2
1980
18.3
10.1
15.7
1981
20.0
11.1
15.3
1982
21.9
12.0
14.6
1983
22.3
12.4
13.8
1984
21.5
11.7
12.4
1985
20.7
11.3
12.6
1986
20.5
10.8
12.4
1987
20.3
10.6
12.5
1988
19.5
10.5
12.0
1989
19.6
10.2
11.4
1990
20.6
10.7
12.2
1991
21.8
11.4
12.4
1992
22.3
11.9
12.9
1993
22.7
12.4
12.2
1994
21.8
11.9
11.7
1995
20.8
11.4
10.5
1996
20.5
11.4
10.8
1997
19.9
10.9
10.5
1998
18.9
10.5
10.5
1999
17.1
10.1
9.7
2000
16.2
9.6
9.9
2001
16.3
10.1
10.1
2002
16.7
10.6
10.4
2003
17.6
10.8
10.2
2004
17.8
11.3
9.8
2005
17.6
11.1
10.1
2006
17.4
10.8
9.4
2007
18.0
10.9
9.7
2008
19.0
11.7
9.7
2009
20.7
12.9
8.9
2010
22.0
13.8
8.9
2011
21.9
13.7
8.7

[ Graph version ]  [ Excel file ]

  • In 2011, 15% of all persons lived at or below their poverty thresholds. This proportion was far greater for persons under age 18 (22%) than for those ages 18-64 (14%) and those above age 64 (9%).
  • Since 2006, the juvenile poverty rate increased 4.5 percentage points while the rate for persons ages 18 to 64 increased 2.9 percentage points.
  • 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 rate increased before falling back at the end of the century to levels of the mid-1970s.

Internet citation: OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/population/qa01401.asp?qaDate=2011. Released on December 17, 2012.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census. Current Population Survey - Historical Poverty Tables. Table 3: "Poverty Status of People, by Age, Race, and Hispanic Origin: 1959 to 2011." [Internet release date: September 13, 2012 ]. Web-based data files available at: [http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/historical/people.html].

 

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