High Numbers of Young, At-risk Children Across the States

Find out about the numbers of young, at-risk children in your state and nationally by using the The Young Child Risk Calculator (YCRC).   This recently updated tool, available from The National Center for Children in Poverty, shows that nearly one in five children in the US faces multiple risks that increase their chance of poor health, development, and school outcomes.    

The YCRC shows the percentage of children in each state who experience individual risk factors, including certain family characteristics and economic hardship.   Current YCRC data point to a high percentage of children under age 9 who live in extreme poverty in the US – 11% nationally and higher in certain states such as Kentucky (16%) and New Mexico (14%).   Extreme poverty translates into a meager yearly income that is under 50% of the federal poverty line or no more than $9,765 for a family of three in 2013.  These children are among the even larger group of our youngest citizens, one in four children under age 9, who live in families with incomes at or below the federal poverty line.

You can also use the YCRC to see the percentage of young children in your state who experience a combination of economic hardship and other risk factors such as having a teen parent or a parent with limited education.   States are strikingly different.  For example, the YCRC tells us that the percentage of low-income, young children with teen parents in Arizona is more than twice as high (9%) as the percentage of young children in Maryland in these same circumstances (4%).  The YCRC also lets you look at particular age bands (e.g., under age 3, 3 to 5, 6 to 8, under 6 and under 9).  States can use YCRC to better understand their population of young at-risk children, and target programs and policies to reduce risks for these children.   

For more information contact: Sheila Smith, Director, Early Childhood, National Center for Children in Poverty (June 26, 2013)