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Data Visualization Shows Key Poverty Trends for Over 13,000 School Districts and Surrounding Communities

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When communities face rapid change from economic shocks — like those many experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic — timely data is paramount.

In response to that need, the U.S. Census Bureau recently released a new data visualization tool that provides statistics of importance to school districts and surrounding communities and answers key questions crucial in the allocation of federal funds.

The data visualization includes school districts across the United States, from large metropolitan districts with more than 1 million students to small rural districts with fewer than 100.

What is your local school district’s child poverty estimate? What publicly available data contributed to producing the estimate? How does it compare to child poverty rates in nearby populations and those of similar size?

Each year, the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program produces single-year estimates of poverty for all U.S. states, counties and school districts.

The SAIPE program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), and SAIPE estimates are specifically designed to allocate federal aid to elementary and secondary education through the Title I-A Program of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 as reauthorized under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015.

SAIPE methodology combines administrative records, intercensal population estimates and the decennial census with direct estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) to provide estimates that are more timely, precise and stable than ACS estimates alone.

Learn More About Your Local School District

The 2019 SAIPE School District Profiles data visualization dashboard provides information on every one of the nation’s more than 13,000 school districts as defined in the 2020 School District Review Program.

The data visualization includes school districts across the United States, from large metropolitan districts with more than 1 million students to small rural districts with fewer than 100.

The tool allows you to view SAIPE program estimates associated with your local school district, along with the publicly available data that contributes to the SAIPE model.

In addition, it provides valuable ACS information about school district populations, including internet access, health insurance coverage, employment industry, computer ownership and commuting patterns.

Select a district and view all available information using the tool below.


More Timely Results From SAIPE

To protect respondent privacy and confidentiality, ACS releases 1-year school district poverty estimates only for places with populations of 65,000 or more.

And while ACS 5-year school district poverty estimates are publicly available, the estimates use data from interviews over the course of five calendar years. As a result, they are less timely than SAIPE.

SAIPE, through its modeling methods, protects respondent privacy and confidentiality while producing child poverty estimates for all U.S. school districts annually.

SAIPE can capture economic shifts more effectively than ACS 5-year estimates because it produces more timely, precise and stable estimates.

An ideal source of information during periods of social and economic upheaval, governments have used SAIPE to respond to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, SAIPE was used to distribute education stabilization funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Katherine Ann Willyard is a survey statistician in the Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division.

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Page Last Revised - June 12, 2023
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