In 2016, Maryland’s child poverty rate decreased slightly to 13.0%. While Maryland’s child poverty rate remains above the annual rates prior to the recession, Maryland is significantly below the national rate of 19.5%. The two Maryland jurisdictions with the highest child poverty rates in 2016 were Somerset County and Baltimore City, with rates of 31.9% and 31.3% respectively. Several Maryland jurisdictions had rates below 10%, including Anne Arundel, Calvert, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Queen Anne's Counties. Overall, 16 of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions had rates below the national average.
While Maryland’s child poverty rate is well below the national average, it is important to note that the federal poverty measure does not account for cost of living differences from one location to another. Several of Maryland’s jurisdictions, 17 of 24, have a cost of living higher than the national average in 2015. As a result, Maryland has sought to raise the eligibility threshold for certain benefits, including the Food Supplement Program, where many Maryland families at or below 185% of the federal poverty level are able to receive food assistance. In addition, Maryland expanded Medicaid coverage for a number of populations up to 133% of the poverty level in 2015.