On Wednesday, September 13, the U.S. Census Bureau released new data on poverty and health care coverage for the year 2016. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of children in the U.S. were living in poverty in 2016. While that is a slight improvement over the previous year children continue to disproportionately experience poverty compared to other age groups. They make up 23 percent of the U.S. population, but account for nearly 33 percent of the population living in poverty
Overall the share of people in poverty decreased to 12.7 percent in 2016 from 13.5 percent in 2015, meaning that 2.5 million fewer people—and 1.2 million fewer children—lived in poverty. Based on a separate report, the number of people without health insurance dropped to another historic low of 8.8 percent (28.1 million people) in 2016, down by 914,000 people from 2015. With the current Administration’s efforts to undercut coverage under the ACA this could be the highwater mark.
Other census data also indicates an ongoing racial disparity. Almost all demographic groups showed reduced poverty rates in 2016 but the disparities between communities of color and the rest of the American population remained troubling. Children under 18 and young adults (18 to 24) of color are far more likely to be poor than white children and young adults.
Despite high levels of work in their households, about 3 in 10 of Black children and more than 25 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty—even though nearly two-thirds of poor Black children and three-quarters of poor Hispanic children living with a working adult family member. The poverty rate for White non-Hispanic children in 2016 is 10.8 percent.