Important Facts for Utah Population Characteristics: Poverty, Children Age 17 and Under
DefinitionPercentage of children (age 17 and under) living in households whose income is at or below the federal poverty threshold.
NumeratorEstimated number of of children (age 17 and under) living in households whose income is at or below the federal poverty threshold as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau.
DenominatorEstimated number of children (age 17 and under) in the population.
Data Interpretation IssuesPoverty status is determined by comparing annual income to a set of dollar values called thresholds that vary by family size, number of children, and age of householder. If a family's before tax money income is less than the dollar value of their threshold, then that family and every individual in it are considered to be in poverty. For people not living in families, poverty status is determined by comparing the individual's income to his or her threshold. The poverty thresholds are updated annually to allow for changes in the cost of living using the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). They do not vary geographically. The poverty threshold for a family of four including two children was $24,036 in 2015.
Why Is This Important?Poverty takes into account both income and family size, and has both immediate and long-lasting effects on health. Income provides an assessment of the financial resources available to individual persons or families for basic necessities (e.g., food, clothing, and health care) to maintain or improve their well-being. Persons living in poverty are worse off than persons in more affluent households for many of the indicators tracked by the Utah Department of Health. 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, is also influenced by early childhood poverty.
Healthy People Objective SDOH-3.2:Proportion of children aged 0-17 years living in poverty
U.S. Target: Not applicable; this measure is being tracked for informational purposes.