Children and Families
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity

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Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The number of children under 18 living below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18 within a racial and ethnic group. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2018, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $25,465.

Why is this important?

Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. Racial and ethnic disparities in child poverty rates stem from complex and interrelated reasons. Research suggests they include both historic and modern-day discrimination, as well as public policies that reinforce or do not address racial inequities in income, education, housing and other factors that are critical to economic mobility.

How is the region doing?

In 2014-18, poverty rates in MetroWest were substantially higher among Hispanic (27%) and African American (21%) children than among white (7%) and Asian (8%) children. Since 2000, the rate increased among African American children by 2 percentage points while it declined 5 points among Asian children. The rate for Hispanic children declined by 4 points, while the rate for white children increased by 1 point. Compared to Massachusetts, MetroWest's poverty rates were lower for all racial and ethnic groups, but especially among Hispanic children and African American children.

Racial and ethnic disparities existed across each of the region's counties. Poverty rates were highest in Worcester County for Hispanic children at 34%, compared to 24% in Middlesex. For African American children, the poverty rate was highest in Middlesex, at 24%. Sample sizes for individual communities in the region were too small to report reliably.

Notes about the data

Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States11%35%28%16%
Massachusetts11%27%34%10%
Region8%21%27%7%
Middlesex8%24%24%7%
Norfolk8%16%**14%**5%
Worcester11%**21%34%11%
Acton town, Middlesex County0%******0%******10%******1%******
Ashland town, Middlesex County0%******100%******0%******3%******
Bedford town, Middlesex County9%******0%******0%******1%******
Bellingham town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******3%******
Boxborough town, Middlesex County2%******0%******26%******6%******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******2%******
Concord town, Middlesex County21%******0%******0%******4%******
Dedham town, Norfolk County0%******11%******5%******4%******
Dover town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******0%******
Framingham city, Middlesex County3%******41%****25%**7%**
Franklin town, Norfolk County11%******0%******0%******1%******
Groton town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******1%******
Harvard town, Worcester County0%******0%******0%******5%******
Holliston town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******0%******
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County0%******3%******1%******2%******
Hudson town, Middlesex County0%******100%******7%******6%******
Lexington town, Middlesex County5%******0%******0%******2%******
Lincoln town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******4%******
Littleton town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******5%******
Marlborough city, Middlesex County1%******0%******11%******6%******
Maynard town, Middlesex County0%******0%******33%******3%******
Medfield town, Norfolk County0%******42%******0%******3%******
Medway town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******5%******
Milford town, Worcester County0%******6%******34%****9%****
Millis town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******2%******
Natick town, Middlesex County3%******18%******2%******0%******
Needham town, Norfolk County0%******12%******0%******0%******
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******6%******
Southborough town, Worcester County6%******26%******0%******1%******
Stow town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******6%******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County9%******0%******0%******4%******
Walpole town, Norfolk County0%******0%******0%******6%****
Waltham city, Middlesex County8%******11%******32%****9%****
Wayland town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******1%******
Wellesley town, Norfolk County0%******69%******21%******2%******
Westborough town, Worcester County6%******0%******2%******1%******
Westford town, Middlesex County0%******0%******0%******2%******
Weston town, Middlesex County14%******0%******0%******9%******
Westwood town, Norfolk County5%******0%******0%******3%******

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States392,8593,522,8085,127,5927,560,556
Massachusetts9,71633,70582,27798,866
Region5,2818,94620,20534,493
Middlesex2,8974,8248,94014,837
Norfolk1,3661,830**1,240**5,047
Worcester1,018**2,29210,02514,609
Acton town, Middlesex County0******0******28******22******
Ashland town, Middlesex County0******22******0******105******
Bedford town, Middlesex County63******0******0******24******
Bellingham town, Norfolk County0******0******0******107******
Boxborough town, Middlesex County8******0******16******49******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0******0******0******24******
Concord town, Middlesex County87******0******0******145******
Dedham town, Norfolk County0******61******30******160******
Dover town, Norfolk County0******0******0******0******
Framingham city, Middlesex County32******585****789**578**
Franklin town, Norfolk County64******0******0******104******
Groton town, Middlesex County0******0******0******29******
Harvard town, Worcester County0******0******0******62******
Holliston town, Middlesex County0******0******0******0******
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County1******1******2******75******
Hudson town, Middlesex County0******21******25******194******
Lexington town, Middlesex County160******0******0******104******
Lincoln town, Middlesex County0******0******0******49******
Littleton town, Middlesex County0******0******0******92******
Marlborough city, Middlesex County3******0******175******351******
Maynard town, Middlesex County0******0******42******67******
Medfield town, Norfolk County0******25******0******108******
Medway town, Norfolk County0******0******0******151******
Milford town, Worcester County0******6******485****459****
Millis town, Norfolk County0******0******0******40******
Natick town, Middlesex County40******24******16******12******
Needham town, Norfolk County0******53******0******0******
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0******0******0******68******
Southborough town, Worcester County26******12******0******31******
Stow town, Middlesex County0******0******0******98******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County60******0******0******189******
Walpole town, Norfolk County0******0******0******303****
Waltham city, Middlesex County41******90******795****574****
Wayland town, Middlesex County0******0******0******22******
Wellesley town, Norfolk County0******150******69******134******
Westborough town, Worcester County86******0******10******34******
Westford town, Middlesex County0******0******0******101******
Weston town, Middlesex County58******0******0******230******
Westwood town, Norfolk County9******0******0******94******

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable


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