California’s overall rate of child poverty is 25%, but regional and local rates range from 4-68%. Additionally, the variation in rates of child poverty between local areas, sometimes in close geographic proximity, outweighs regional differences.
Statewide risk factors for child poverty include being Latinx, or having immigrant, non-English proficient, young, or single parents. Regionally, education and employment are correlated to poverty levels in high-cost-of-living, urban areas. Rising housing costs are also a serious burden for poor families in these regions. Safety net services such as CalFresh, CalWORKS, and the Earned Income Tax Credit play more of a role in supporting poor families in northern and inland regions where earned-income rates are lower. Tailoring approaches to address these regional differences can make child poverty interventions more effective.
This interactive tool shows geographic concentrations of child poverty throughout the state and allows the user to examine specific risk factors in each local area.