DefinitionThe estimated number and percentage of children under age 18 living in households with income below the federal poverty level.
NumeratorEstimated number of children age 17 and under living in households whose income is below 100% of the federal poverty level as defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Poverty status is determined by comparing household income to poverty thresholds (income cutoffs). Thresholds vary by family size and number of children under 18 in the household, and are updated in January of each year. For instance, the poverty level for a family of four in 2018 is $25,100. The U.S. Poverty Guidelines may be found at the [http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/ Health and Human Services website].
DenominatorThe estimated number of children age 17 and under in the population.
Data Interpretation IssuesThe U.S. Poverty Guidelines are published in January of each year, and may be found online at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/.
Beginning with the year 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau switched from the Current Population Survey as a data source for these data to the American Community Survey.
Poverty estimates from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) program are modeled, using ACS data as inputs, and are considered more accurate than estimates directly from the American Community Survey (ACS). Data views for NM and U.S. by year, county, school district, and U.S. States are from SAIPE. Estimates for NM Small Areas and race/ethnicity are not available on SAIPE, so the ACS 5-year estimates are used for those data views.
Population size estimates from the UNM Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) program are considered more accurate for New Mexico. So for the county, New Mexico by year, Small Area, and race/ethnicity data views, the poverty percentage estimates were applied to the GPS population estimates to calculate counts and population size. GPS population estimates are not available for U.S. states or school districts, so the SAIPE population estimates were used for those data views. The race/ethnicity categories provided by the U.S. Census do not match those used by NMDOH, so the population estimates provided are ACS 5-year estimates.
Why Is This Important?Poverty in the early years of a child's life, more than at any other time, has especially harmful effects on continuing healthy development and well-being, including developmental delays and infant mortality. Well-being in later childhood, such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and educational attainment, are also influenced by early childhood poverty. Children born into poverty are less likely to have regular health care, proper nutrition, and opportunities for mental stimulation and enrichment.
Healthy People Objective: SDOH-3.2, Proportion of children aged 0-17 years living in poverty U.S. Target: Not applicable
Other ObjectivesNew Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)
New Mexico Early Learning Indicator
How Are We Doing?The percentage of children in poverty peaked in New Mexico in 2013 at 30.1%. The percentage has declined in the last two years and in 2017 now stands at 25.9%. Just over 127,300 New Mexico children age 0-17 were in families living in poverty.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In 2017, the New Mexico child poverty rate was 25.9%, 41% higher than the U.S. rate of 18.4%. The child poverty rate ranged from 10% in New Hampshire to 27.7% in Louisiana.