Financial Security
Children Living in Poverty

Increasing


Children Living in Poverty

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What does this measure?

The number of children under 18 who live below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2020, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $26,246.

Why is this important?

Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives. Studies have found that the stress of living in poverty can cause biological changes in children that can lead to long-term health problems.

How does our county compare?

In 2016-20, 12% of children in Lancaster County lived below the poverty line. This was lower than the statewide and national rate (both at 17%). The county's rate rose 1 percentage point since 2000 - similar to Pennsylvania and the nation.

In the City of Lancaster in 2016-20, 28% of children lived below the poverty line. This was a decrease of 2 percentage points since 2000.

The percentage of children living below the poverty line in Lancaster County in 2016-20 was higher than in Chester (7%) and Cumberland (9%) counties. Lancaster was most similar to York (12%) and Lebanon (17%) and below Berks (18%) and Dauphin (19%).

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Children Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
Pennsylvania15%17%19%17%
Lancaster County11%14%16%12%
Lancaster City30%40%42%28%
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough3%5%***3%***17%***
Akron borough5%2%***9%***10%***
Christiana borough13%22%***19%***6%***
Columbia borough19%45%*22%*36%*
Denver township5%0%***15%***13%***
East Petersburg borough5%5%***8%***9%***
Elizabethtown borough7%8%***12%***14%***
Ephrata borough7%7%***15%*11%**
Lititz borough4%15%***9%**1%***
Manheim borough9%10%***15%***20%***
Marietta borough12%15%***16%***29%**
Millersville borough10%5%***13%***16%***
Mount Joy borough10%11%***16%***18%***
Mountville borough13%6%***4%***52%***
New Holland borough8%21%***12%***15%***
Quarryville borough11%22%***16%***21%***
Strasburg borough5%6%***5%***27%***
Terre Hill borough7%0%***10%***6%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township20%11%***21%*0%***
Brecknock township16%5%***6%***3%***
Caernarvon township12%16%***13%**18%**
Clay township8%19%***22%*2%***
Colerain township17%10%***11%***26%*
Conestoga township3%1%***4%***2%***
Conoy township6%1%***13%***16%***
Drumore township8%27%***24%**8%***
Earl township26%11%***15%***15%***
East Cocalico township5%4%***14%**5%***
East Donegal township1%9%***5%***7%***
East Drumore township23%9%***6%***4%***
East Earl township9%2%***17%**4%***
East Hempfield township4%6%***10%**4%***
East Lampeter township11%10%***20%*9%***
Eden township11%19%***13%**18%**
Elizabeth township6%8%***10%***0%***
Ephrata township9%6%***13%**13%**
Fulton township18%10%***24%*14%**
Lancaster township18%16%***23%*17%**
Leacock township20%16%***5%***10%***
Little Britain township20%11%***0%***9%***
Manheim township4%8%**7%*8%**
Manor township4%6%***13%**10%***
Martic township2%14%***12%***5%***
Mount Joy township4%15%**18%***10%***
Paradise township12%14%***15%**26%*
Penn township6%4%***4%***7%***
Pequea township6%12%***0%***25%***
Providence township9%3%***27%***10%***
Rapho township3%21%**4%***0%***
Sadsbury township21%13%***16%**8%*
Salisbury township12%13%***11%**3%***
Strasburg township5%13%***3%***4%***
Upper Leacock township11%9%***30%*22%*
Warwick township6%4%***8%**8%**
West Cocalico township2%4%***7%***8%***
West Donegal township1%7%***2%***4%***
West Earl township10%10%***11%**12%**
West Hempfield township7%8%***4%***9%***
West Lampeter township3%2%***6%***3%***
Berks County13%19%22%18%
Chester County5%6%9%7%
Cumberland County8%8%12%9%
Dauphin County14%19%20%19%
Lebanon County11%13%17%17%
York County9%13%17%12%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of Children Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
Pennsylvania421,745479,472515,473434,413
Lancaster County13,74017,44819,74415,460
Lancaster City4,4426,1256,3483,549
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough822***17***115***
Akron borough4416***80***89***
Christiana borough3558***42***12***
Columbia borough4601,178*562*731*
Denver township480***132***130***
East Petersburg borough6252***76***83***
Elizabethtown borough151187***259***251***
Ephrata borough222206***452*375**
Lititz borough82310***163**20***
Manheim borough100101***141***244***
Marietta borough7889***84***147**
Millersville borough8040***104***169***
Mount Joy borough149173***263***341***
Mountville borough5929***21***325***
New Holland borough84246***144***176***
Quarryville borough60138***122***142***
Strasburg borough3542***39***196***
Terre Hill borough230***41***17***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township237133***233*0***
Brecknock township346107***109***46***
Caernarvon township165218***198**271**
Clay township127317***393*25***
Colerain township200121***143***367*
Conestoga township2712***35***11***
Conoy township519***80***127***
Drumore township55274***170**67***
Earl township503210***293***278***
East Cocalico township145115***332**120***
East Donegal township9170***94***145***
East Drumore township22080***56***34***
East Earl township17343***360**63***
East Hempfield township208306***540**185***
East Lampeter township366363***824*436***
Eden township70126***76**158**
Elizabeth township7088***99***0***
Ephrata township231133***324**292**
Fulton township16587***195*160**
Lancaster township532506***873*633**
Leacock township348292***91***179***
Little Britain township235170***0***68***
Manheim township283683**594*668**
Manor township159239***527**464***
Martic township35183***139***64***
Mount Joy township97361**483***287***
Paradise township164213***257**433*
Penn township11283***78***150***
Pequea township70119***0***288***
Providence township15758***372***149***
Rapho township77553**101***9***
Sadsbury township201143***212**102*
Salisbury township403510***433**122***
Strasburg township62177***46***63***
Upper Leacock township286247***818*572*
Warwick township256191***336**336**
West Cocalico township4672***135***171***
West Donegal township9134***27***64***
West Earl township197212***245**298**
West Hempfield township320326***149***345***
West Lampeter township10152***184***98***
Berks County12,00318,05720,80616,659
Chester County6,0827,67910,3738,649
Cumberland County3,6193,8785,9224,465
Dauphin County8,47111,49512,10911,376
Lebanon County3,1633,8685,3015,204
York County8,01012,86616,17111,596

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 English Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 Math Decreasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Decreasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
College Graduation Rates Decreasing
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate Decreasing
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population Density Increasing
Air Quality Increasing
Water Use Decreasing
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Workers by Occupation Not Applicable
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Employer Size Not Applicable
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector Increasing
Change in Total Agricultural Sales Increasing
Spending for Local Government Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Working Poor Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Median Home Value Maintaining
Occupied Housing Units Maintaining
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Rent Maintaining
Cost of Renting Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Health Status Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Mortality Rates Decreasing
Fatal Drug Overdoses Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Increasing
STEM Graduates Increasing
Science and Engineering Research and Development Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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