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Contact: Robert Bernstein
Public Information Office
Between 2007 and 2011, the school-age poverty rate (which covers children 5 to 17 living in families) showed a statistically significant increase in 832 counties, or 26 percent of all counties in the United States, according to data from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. These statistics cover every county and school district in the nation.
“These estimates are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and are used as one of the criteria to allocate federal funds to local education agencies,” said acting Census Bureau Director Thomas Mesenbourg. “In addition, state and local programs use these estimates for distributing funds and managing school programs.”
SAIPE combines the latest data from the American Community Survey with aggregate data from federal tax filings, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participation, statistics from the 2000 and 2010 censuses and annual population estimates.
Furthermore, 10 counties saw a statistically significant decrease over the same period, while for the remaining counties, there was no significant change. (These estimates are released annually; comparisons are made to 2007 because it was the last year prior to the 2007-2009 recession.).
For median household income, there were 985 counties with a statistically significant decline over the 2007 to 2011 period and 93 counties with a significant increase over the same span.
Over a one-year time period, 2010-2011, 83 counties experienced statistically significantly increases in school-age poverty rates and 23 counties saw significant decreases.
The 2011 SAIPE are available for roughly 3,140 counties and nearly 14,000 school districts eligible for funding under the Title I program. They represent the only current, single-year income and poverty estimates available for all sizes of counties and school districts. The 2011 estimates also show that 923 counties had school-age poverty rates significantly above and 909 significantly below the national poverty rate of 21 percent.
Among the counties with total population less than 20,000, there were 77 counties in which the poverty rate for school-age children was significantly above 30 percent in 2011. In 2007, there were 48 counties with school-age poverty rates over 30 percent.
SAIPE also provides state and county estimates for the total number of people in poverty, the number of children younger than 5 in poverty (for states only), the number of children 5 to 17 in families in poverty, the number of children younger than 18 in poverty and median household income. School district estimates from SAIPE, produced for the Department of Education to implement provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, are available for the total population, the number of children 5 to 17 and the number of children 5 to 17 in families in poverty.
This release includes publication of the 2011 SAIPE Highlights document, which presents SAIPE trends and explains the sources and approach. Also available is an interactive mapping tool <http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/maps/>, allowing access to the county and school district estimates by selecting the geographic area for display, as well as thematic maps for all concepts available from SAIPE for 2011, 2010 and 2009. More information can be obtained from the SAIPE program's main page <http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/>.