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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Utah Population Characteristics: Poverty, Children Age 17 and Under

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.

Percentage of Children in Poverty by Year, Utah and U.S., 1995-2017

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confidence limits
The data for this graph come from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for years 1995-2007 and from the American Community Survey (ACS) for years 2008-2017.

Data Sources

  • U.S. Current Population Survey
  • U.S. Bureau of the Census
  • American Community Survey

Data Notes

Both the ACS and CPS data are based on a sample and are subject to sampling variability. The degree of uncertainty for an estimate arising from sampling variability is represented through the use of a margin of error. The value shown here is the 90 percent margin of error. The margin of error can be interpreted roughly as providing 90 percent probability that the interval defined by the estimate minus the margin of error and the estimate plus the margin of error (the lower and upper confidence bounds) contains the true value.

Risk Factors

One of the best ways for adults to avoid poverty is to get a good education. Adolescents who give birth are more likely to live in poverty since they are more likely to limit their education. The association between poverty and health status is probably bi-directional. That is, persons with chronic mental or physical illness are less able to achieve their educational goals and get good jobs. At the same time, persons who have lower incomes are less able to afford health care and may have less healthy lifestyles. For instance, persons with lower education and income levels are more likely to smoke cigarettes and less likely to get regular exercise.

How Are We Doing?

According to the American Community Survey (ACS), an estimated 10.7% of Utah children aged 17 or under (approximately 97,832 Utah children) were living in poverty in 2017. Children born into poverty are less likely to have regular health care, proper nutrition, and opportunities for mental stimulation and enrichment.

What Is Being Done?

While the Utah Department of Health has no program designed to reduce the number of children in poverty, there are programs such as Medicaid and CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) that pay for health care for eligible children.

Healthy People Objective: Proportion of children aged 0-17 years living in poverty

U.S. Target: Not applicable; this measure is being tracked for informational purposes.

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 01/18/2019

Other Views

The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Mon, 16 September 2019 0:51:32 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:28 MDT