Key Statistics and Resources Child Poverty in California Based on New U.S. Census Data

September 14, 2017 | For More Information Contact: Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, msp@childrensdefense.org

  • U.S. Census Bureau data released today reveal that 1.78 million California children (19.9%) lived in poverty in 2016.
  • Nearly 1 in 12 California children (723,923) lived in deep poverty in 2016, putting them at severe risk of hunger, homelessness, and toxic stress.
  • The child poverty rate declined from 21.2% in 2015 to 19.9% in 2016, thanks in part to the success of the social safety net.
  • Children of color continue to be disproportionately poor: 26.6% of Latino children and 29.6% of Black children were poor in 2016, compared to 9.6% of White children. See chart
  • Child poverty rates varied across the state, ranging from a high of 37.9% in Fresno County to a low of 5.2% in Napa County. See chart



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