We want to reduce the percentage of children living at or below 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 at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) decreased from 16% in calendar year 2015 to 15% in calendar year 2016.
In 2016, approximately 37,000 young Vermonters lived in families that were at the federal poverty level. The FPL is calculated by multiplying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “economy food plan” by three, based on data collected in the 1950s that found that food costs approximated one-third of a family's budget. Today, food comprises far less than one-third of a family’s expenses, while housing, transportation, and child care costs have grown disproportionately (source). Therefore, families living below the Federal Poverty Level will struggle to meet their basic needs.