Disturbing continued rise of child poverty in Maine

The U.S. Census Bureau released data from the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) today. MCA and our partners at the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) commented on the troubling rise of child poverty. (Click here for the full statement.)



“Maine’s leaders and policy makers need to focus special attention on the disturbing continued rise of child poverty in our state,” said MCA executive director Ned McCann. “More than 1 in 5 Maine children are now living in poverty in Maine; for children under age 5 it is now more than 1 in 4 children under the age of five. Kids do not choose to be born into poverty, and we all have a stake in making sure they are well fed, healthy, safe, and provided opportunity to succeed through a good education.”



Key ACS Data Findings for Maine 

  • Overall, 14.7% of Mainers (adults and children) live in poverty.
  • More than 1 in 5 children (20.9% of children under 18 years of age) live in poverty in Maine and more than 1 in 4 young children (26.9% of children under the age of five) live in poverty.
  • These figures are getting worse, not better: poverty rates for children and adults alike are greater than they were just four years ago in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession.
  • Maine median household income in 2012 was $46,709, significantly lower than pre-recession levels and significantly lower than in 2008, 2009, and 2010-the immediate aftermath of the recent financial crisis and recession.

As can be seen in the map below, Maine has the highest child poverty rate in New England. The state with the highest child poverty rate is Mississippi, where more than one third (35%) of the children are poor. North Dakota has the lowest child poverty rate at 13 percent. (Drag your cursor over the states to see the child poverty rates.)


To view the ACS findings for Maine, click here.

Visit the KIDS COUNT Data Center to access data on child and family well-being in the United States.


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