New DC Poverty Data Reveals Great Need Amid Prosperity
Last week we wrote about child poverty in the US, which has not changed significantly since 2010 but has grown over the past 10 years. New Census data released yesterday show that child poverty remains at 30% in DC, despite economic gains citywide and shrinking poverty rates among other age groups.
While much of our city has rebounded from the recession, child poverty has not budged. Our hometown newspaper sees the data and reports that the DC area is one of the richest places in the nation. Yet not everyone is the city is doing as well. At DC Action for Children, we look at the data and see great need amid prosperity.
Since 2007, child poverty has increased 7.6 percentage points. By comparison, adult poverty has returned to near pre-recession levels and elderly poverty has decreased.
Among families with children, median income was $56,000 in DC last year, up 21% since 2007. We see different trends between families with children and all households, which can be singles, couples or families. Median income for all households climbed steadily from 2007 to 2011, even during the recession. Not so for families with children: They experienced a $3,000 drop in median income between 2010 and 2011 (though caution is necessary with year-to-year estimates).
Another aspect of this picture in DC is the wide range in income at the neighborhood level. For example 2006-2010 data show that in Eastland Gardens/Kenilworth, median family income is below $20,000, while in Hawthorne/Barnaby Woods/Chevy Chase, it tops $200,000.
For more data examining DC children and neighborhoods, join us on October 4 as we launch our 2012 DC KIDS COUNT e-databook, which will examine neighborhood-level poverty, median income and more – including tools to help you do your own analysis.