This week, the Census Bureau released the latest findings from its Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program. The program provides the only up-to-date, single-year income and poverty statistics for all counties and school districts — roughly 3,140 counties and nearly 14,000 school districts nationally.
Tables provide statistics on the number of people in poverty, the number of children younger than age 5 in poverty (for states only), the number of children ages 5 to 17 in families in poverty, the number younger than age 18 in poverty, and median household income. At the school district level, estimates are available for the total population, the number of children ages 5 to 17 and the number of children ages 5 to 17 in families in poverty.
These estimates combine the latest data from the American Community Survey with aggregate data from federal tax records, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, decennial censuses and the Population Estimates Program.
According to the 2014 estimates:
· Median household income at the county level in 2014 ranged from $21,658 to $125,635, with a median county level value of $45,229.
· Based on poverty rate estimates for all 3,141 counties for all ages, 26 percent (820 counties) had a statistically significant increase in poverty between 2007 (the year before the most recent recession) and 2014. Only 1 percent of counties had a statistically significant decrease in poverty during that period.
Statistics from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program are an input to the allocation formula for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I distributes funding to school districts based on the number and percentage of low-income children. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) expects to use the 2014 estimates to calculate fiscal year 2016 allocations for Title I and several other ED programs for use by states and school districts primarily in the 2016-2017 school year.