“County school-age child poverty rates are still above their pre-recession levels in metropolitan areas of California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, as well as the coastal areas of the Northeast and Great Lakes states,” Wesley Basel of the Census Bureau’s Small Area Estimates Branch, said in a Wednesday release. The poverty rate nationally for school-age children is 20.8 percent, or roughly 1 in 5.
The rate is above that national average in 972 counties, concentrated in the South and West. More than 4 in 5 counties in New Mexico and Mississippi had rates statistically above the national average, and in 15 percent of school districts nationally, the poverty rate for school-age children is above 30 percent.
Nearly the same number of counties — 902 — had school-age child poverty rates statistically below the national average, according to the Census. In Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming, more than 4 in 5 counties had rates statistically lower than the nation as a whole.