Understanding the Rise in Rural Child Poverty, 2003-14

Economic Research Report No. (ERR-208) 33 pp, May 2016

Cover Image

by Tracey Farrigan and Thomas Hertz

The U.S. rural child poverty rate declined in the 1990s but has been rising since 2003, increasing through the recession of 2008-09 and peaking at 26.7 percent in 2012. Rural child poverty fell between 2012 and 2014 but remained above pre-recession levels. Adverse income-distribution changes (rising income inequality), more than a decline in average income, explain the rise in child poverty.

Keywords: Poverty, rural child poverty, nonmetropolitan poverty, Current Population Survey, American Community Survey, income inequality, average income, recession, recovery, demographic change

In this publication...