Children And Families
Children Living in Poverty


Children Living in Poverty

What does this measure?

The number of children under 18 living below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2018, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $25,465.

Why is this important?

Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives.

How is the region doing?

In 2014-18, about 59,100 children in MetroWest were living in poverty, or 9% of all children under 18. This was up slightly from 8% in 2000. The region's rate was lower than the state as a whole (14%), and well below the national rate of 20%.

Worcester County had the highest child poverty rate (13%) in 2014-18, followed by Middlesex (9%) and Norfolk (6%). Milford, (14%) Framingham and Waltham (both 13%) had rates significantly higher than the rest of the region. Sample sizes for most other communities in the region were too small to report reliably. For comparison, the 2014-18 child poverty rate in Boston was 29%.

Notes about the data

Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Children Living in Poverty
United States17%22%20%
Acton town, Middlesex County2%1%***1%***
Ashland town, Middlesex County2%5%***3%***
Bedford town, Middlesex County3%4%***3%***
Bellingham town, Norfolk County3%2%***3%***
Boxborough town, Middlesex County4%4%***5%***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County3%6%***2%***
Concord town, Middlesex County4%6%***5%***
Dedham town, Norfolk County4%4%***5%**
Dover town, Norfolk County3%0%***0%***
Framingham city, Middlesex County12%17%13%*
Franklin town, Norfolk County4%***5%**
Groton town, Middlesex County4%2%***1%***
Harvard town, Worcester County1%9%***4%***
Holliston town, Middlesex County3%4%***0%***
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County2%1%***2%***
Hudson town, Middlesex County4%6%**6%***
Lexington town, Middlesex County3%2%***3%**
Lincoln town, Middlesex County0%4%***3%***
Littleton town, Middlesex County2%2%***4%***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County9%8%*7%**
Maynard town, Middlesex County7%10%***5%***
Medfield town, Norfolk County1%5%***3%***
Medway town, Norfolk County2%3%***5%***
Milford town, Worcester County9%15%*14%*
Millis town, Norfolk County3%9%***2%***
Natick town, Middlesex County3%4%**1%***
Needham town, Norfolk County1%3%**1%***
Sherborn town, Middlesex County2%2%***6%***
Southborough town, Worcester County1%2%***3%***
Stow town, Middlesex County2%1%***5%***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County4%1%***5%***
Walpole town, Norfolk County2%4%***6%**
Waltham city, Middlesex County5%11%*13%*
Wayland town, Middlesex County2%4%***1%***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County4%3%**4%*
Westborough town, Worcester County4%4%***3%***
Westford town, Middlesex County2%3%***2%***
Weston town, Middlesex County2%0%***9%**
Westwood town, Norfolk County2%1%***3%***

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Number of Children Living in Poverty
United States11,711,49115,701,79914,117,014
Acton town, Middlesex County14638***60***
Ashland town, Middlesex County85174***127***
Bedford town, Middlesex County102124***101***
Bellingham town, Norfolk County11865***107***
Boxborough town, Middlesex County5651***57***
Carlisle town, Middlesex County3781***24***
Concord town, Middlesex County168240***232***
Dedham town, Norfolk County208191***221**
Dover town, Norfolk County480***0***
Framingham city, Middlesex County1,6342,3891,720*
Franklin town, Norfolk County365***382**
Groton town, Middlesex County12760***29***
Harvard town, Worcester County13126***62***
Holliston town, Middlesex County120167***16***
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County6970***79***
Hudson town, Middlesex County162256**215***
Lexington town, Middlesex County266202***278**
Lincoln town, Middlesex County580***49***
Littleton town, Middlesex County4253***100***
Marlborough city, Middlesex County739649*518**
Maynard town, Middlesex County180223***109***
Medfield town, Norfolk County47176***133***
Medway town, Norfolk County6794***151***
Milford town, Worcester County6171,047*907*
Millis town, Norfolk County59164***40***
Natick town, Middlesex County186360**109***
Needham town, Norfolk County100242**53***
Sherborn town, Middlesex County3229***68***
Southborough town, Worcester County1957***69***
Stow town, Middlesex County2618***98***
Sudbury town, Middlesex County22041***249***
Walpole town, Norfolk County127252***384**
Waltham city, Middlesex County494954*1,207*
Wayland town, Middlesex County68134***22***
Wellesley town, Norfolk County267232**323*
Westborough town, Worcester County192202***152***
Westford town, Middlesex County160181***101***
Weston town, Middlesex County668***288**
Westwood town, Norfolk County7932***104***

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable