Idaho child poverty numbers buck national trends

Nationally, child poverty numbers showed no improvement in 2018 — but Idaho’s numbers dropped somewhat, and came in well below the national average.

About 63,000 Idaho children lived in poverty in 2018, down from 67,000 the preceding year, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Put another way, 14 percent of Idaho children were living in poverty, down from 15 percent the preceding year.

On Wednesday, the Baltimore-based foundation decried the national numbers.

“In 2018, 18 percent of all kids — 13 million children in the United States — were living in poverty,” the foundation said in a news release. “And, for the first time since 2014, this statistic did not improve compared to the previous year.”

The foundation bases its numbers on the federal poverty line, which comes to $25,465 for a family of two adults and two children.

A few other comparisons:

  • Idaho’s Hispanic child poverty rate surpasses the national average: 29 percent, as opposed to 26 percent.
  • What’s more, Idaho’s Hispanic poverty numbers are trending upward. About 23,000 Hispanic children were living in poverty, up from 20,000 the preceding year.
  • About 11 percent of white children in Idaho were living in poverty, mirroring the national average.
  • Among Idaho’s neighbors, child poverty rates range from 10 percent in Utah to 18 percent in Nevada.



Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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