We want to reduce the percentage of children living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level as part of our efforts to ensure that pregnant women and young people thrive.
In Vermont, the percentage of children living in families below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) increased markedly in 2010, from 32% to 39%. This trend mirrored the national average which increased to 45% and coincided with the worst recession since the Great Depression, which led to massive job losses and long-term unemployment. The VT rate has slowly decreased since 2010 and in 2016, the rate was back to the pre-recession level of 32%.
In 2016, approximately 37,000 young Vermonters lived in families that were considered “low income” (or 200% FPL). This level of income is an approximation of the income that is needed for most families to provide their children with basic necessities like adequate food, stable housing, and health care. Children living in low-income families are much more likely than their peers in higher income families to lack health insurance, regular medical care, and regular dental care. These children are also much more likely to experience food insufficiency (source).
AHS is currently using this tool to assess our agency contribution to reducing the rate of child poverty in Vermont. One Agency cannot turn the curve alone; there are many partners who have a role to play making a difference.