Of all Arizona children, nearly one in five live in poverty, an estimated 325,000 children, almost twice the population of the City of Tempe. New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau from the American Community Survey (ACS) shows that poverty in Arizona remains a top threat to children. Although there were small improvements between 2016 and 2017, the number of children growing up in poverty remains stubbornly high compared to the nation, holding back our economy and our kids’ futures.
The statistics are worse for Arizona children of color with nearly half of Native American children and one-third of Latino children living in poverty.
The poverty rate in many rural Arizona counties is well above the national average. Two counties, Apache (44.1%) and Navajo, (37.6%) have more than double the national average rate of children living in poverty.
Arizona needs new strategies specifically focused on ensuring that rural Arizonans have access to quality public schools, affordable post-secondary education, job-training, and infrastructure that will give them the skills to compete in the workforce, bring quality jobs to their communities, and enable them to move up the economic ladder.
*Data are based on the federal poverty threshold, which was an annual income of $19,749 for a family of three with two children and $24,858 for a family of four with two children in 2017. Source, U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2018