Nearly a quarter of California’s children now live in poverty. While the immediate effects of insufficient family income are generally well recognized, less is known about how childhood poverty is closely linked to later health as an adult. Research shows that children who grow up in poverty are more likely to suffer from a range of physical and mental diseases as they age, and even may expect a shorter life span. These long-term consequences of poverty constitute a burden both to the individual and to the public health system.
More than 20 measures of family income and child poverty have been updated on kidsdata.org and several new indicators are now available, including the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, newly commissioned estimates of families with incomes below the self-sufficiency standard, and CalWORKs enrollment numbers. These data help document the growing numbers of families struggling to make ends meet across California.