Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health      

kidsdata advisory

The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health | June 5, 2013

New Data: California Children Living in Crowded Households at Twice the Rate of U.S.

As rents and single family home prices in California continue to rise sharply, recent federal data show that the estimated percentage of the state’s children living in crowded households is twice that of children nationwide.

About 28% of California children lived in crowded households in 2009-11, compared to 14% for the U.S. A crowded household is defined as more than one person per room of an apartment or house, including living rooms, dining rooms and other rooms in addition to bedrooms.  

There is wide variation among communities with available data: About 38% of Monterey County children lived in crowded households in 2009-11, compared to about 11% in more affluent Marin County. On average, Fair Market Rents in California counties have increased by more than 60% since 2000.

Housing can significantly affect children’s health and well being. Low-income parents with high housing cost burdens are more likely to report that their children have fair or poor health than low-income parents in more affordable housing situations. Unaffordable or unstable housing can diminish a child’s opportunities for educational success by increasing the chance that he or she will have to move, change schools, and disrupt learning. In addition, some studies have shown a link between residential crowding and the prevalence of certain infectious diseases, poor educational attainment, and psychological distress. Read more about this topic, including policy implications>>

See Housing Data in Your Community

Helpful Links

Corporation for Supportive Housing
Housing, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 
Housing California
Housing First, National Alliance to End Homelessness
LINC Housing
National Housing Conference & Center for Housing Policy
PolicyLink: Affordable Housing Development
The Urban Institute: Housing
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Tip: Demonstrating Need in Grant Proposals

Organizations can use these data and many other indicators of children's health and well being to demonstrate needs in their communities; a new Data Points blog post offers tips for using in grant proposals. Mascot
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About 28% of California children lived in crowded households in 2009-11, compared to 14% for the U.S. At the local level, figures vary widely. Mascots is a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation of Children's Health, which uses data to promote the health and well being of children.
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