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Percent of children living at or below the Federal Poverty Level

Current Value




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Notes on Methodology

The share of children under age 18 in Vermont who live families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level.

The federal poverty definition consists of a series of thresholds based on family size and composition. In calendar year 2019, a family of two adults and two children fell in the "poverty" category if their annual income fell below $25,750. 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: September 2019

Updated by: Vermont Department for Children and Families


Story Behind the Curve

We want to reduce the percentage of children living at or below 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 at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) decreased from 16% in calendar year 2015 to 15% in calendar year 2016.

In 2017, approximately 16,973 young Vermonters lived in families that were at the federal poverty level. The FPL is calculated by multiplying the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “economy food plan” by three, based on data collected in the 1950s that found that food costs approximated one-third of a family's budget. Today, food comprises far less than one-third of a family’s expenses, while housing, transportation, and child care costs have grown disproportionately (source). Therefore, families living below the Federal Poverty Level will struggle to meet their basic needs.


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:

Clear Impact Suite is an easy-to-use, web-based software platform that helps your staff collaborate with external stakeholders and community partners by utilizing the combination of data collection, performance reporting, and program planning.

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