All Vermonters are Free from the Impacts of Poverty and 5 more...less...

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Percent of children living at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Level


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Notes on Methodology

The share of children under age 18 in Vermont who live in families with incomes less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition. In calendar year 2016, a 200% poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children was $48,678. Poverty status is not determined for people in military barracks, institutional quarters, or for unrelated individuals under age 15 (such as foster children).

Data source: US Census Bureau/Annie E. Casey Foundation KidsCount Data Center

Last updated: July 2016

Updated by: Department for Children and Families

Story Behind the Curve

We want to reduce the percentage of children living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level as part of our efforts to ensure that pregnant women and young people thrive.

In Vermont, the percentage of children living in families below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) increased markedly in 2010, from 32% to 39%. This trend mirrored the national average which increased to 45% and coincided with the worst recession since the Great Depression, which led to massive job losses and long-term unemployment. The VT rate has slowly decreased since 2010 and in 2016, the rate was back to the pre-recession level of 32%.

In 2016, approximately 37,000 young Vermonters lived in families that were considered “low income” (or 200% FPL). This level of income is an approximation of the income that is needed for most families to provide their children with basic necessities like adequate food, stable housing, and health care. Children living in low-income families are much more likely than their peers in higher income families to lack health insurance, regular medical care, and regular dental care. These children are also much more likely to experience food insufficiency (source).

AHS is currently using this tool to assess our agency contribution to reducing the rate of child poverty in Vermont. One Agency cannot turn the curve alone; there are many partners who have a role to play making a difference.


Child poverty in Vermont is a population-level problem. Many partners, including those identified below, have a role to play in improving this population-level indicator for the state of Vermont.

  • Agency of Human Services
    • Department for Children and Families
      • Child Development Division
      • Disability Determination Services
      • Economic Services Division
      • Family Services Division
      • Office of Child Support
      • Office of Economic Opportunity
    • Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living
      • Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Department of Vermont Health Access
      • Vermont Health Connect
    • Vermont Department of Health
      • Evidence-based Home Visiting
  • Department of Labor
    • Unemployment Insurance
  • Community Action Agencies
  • Building Bright Futures
  • Governor's Council on Pathways from Poverty
  • Vermont Child Poverty Council
  • Voices for Vermont's Children
What Works

To address the needs of children growing up in low-income families, policies and programs should:

  • Build assets;
  • Promote early childhood development;
  • Support disadvantaged youth;
  • Build skills; and
  • Improve the safety net and work supports.

Sources: Brookings Institute, Ford Foundation


Initiatives across the Agency of Human Services aim to support individuals living in poverty. DCF initiatives that aim to reduce the poverty rate include:

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy