Child Poverty measures the percentage of children under age 18 who live in households in the City of St. Louis with incomes at or below the federal poverty line
Black children are nearly four times as likely as white children to live in households with incomes under the poverty line.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes between black and white populations. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Child Poverty, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white children are equally likely to live in households with incomes below the poverty line. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal: we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Child Poverty measures the percentage of children under age 18 who live in households in the City of St. Louis with incomes at or below the federal poverty line. In 2016, there were 22,405 children living in poverty in St. Louis, or more than a third of all children.
Child Poverty Analysis
Children under age 18 who live in poverty in St. Louis City
|All||Black||White||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Children in Poverty||22,405||15,915||1,849||-||-|
|Child Poverty Rate||36.8%||44.0%||11.8%||3.714 to 1||29|
Data Source: American Community Survey 1-year PUMS, 2016.
Data Note: PUMS data may differ slightly from estimates on American FactFinder due to differences in sampling. See PUMS technical documentation for more information. The number of sample cases is too small to report reliable estimates for additional racial groups.
What does this analysis mean?
Black children are nearly four times as likely as white children to live at or below the federal poverty line. 44% of black children live in poverty, compared to 11.8% of white children. Overall, children are more likely to live in poverty than adults or the elderly (see Adult Poverty indicator in the Opportunity to Thrive theme). If the rate of child poverty were equitable, there would be 11,644 fewer black children living in poverty.
Why does Child Poverty matter?
Vision for Children at Risk summarized the effects of poverty on children in their 2017-2018 report on Children of Metropolitan St. Louis:
“The effects of poverty on children and youth have been extensively documented. We know that poverty has a particularly adverse effect on academic success, especially during early childhood. Chronic poverty contributes to toxic stress that takes a toll on parents and children. Poverty is not a mere inconvenience that children need the moral strength to overcome. Children who live in poverty are more likely to experience illness, difficulty getting along with peers, emotional problems, exposure to violence, risk of injury, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. They are more likely to drop out of high school, less likely to complete college, and more likely to die sooner.”
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
The Ferguson Commission’s calls to action designed to reduce child poverty include:
Questions for further investigation:
- Why is there a racial disparity in Child Poverty?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Child Poverty?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Child Poverty?
How can I learn more about this issue?
Vision for Children at Risk is a research and advocacy organization that focuses on the critical needs of children in the St. Louis region. They produce an annual report called the "Children of Metropolitan St. Louis" which contains community data on over 40 indicators of child well-being.