At the National level the United States has had a steady poverty rate for young families over the past 5 years. The American Community Survey (produced by the US Census Bureau) publishes a poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. This poverty rate was at 18.3% in 2013 for the US as a whole, up from 17.9% in 2009. At a local level, the picture for young families can look much different.

The United States has 388 Metropolitan Statistical Areas for which the Census Bureau gathers economic and demographic data. Early Childhood Analytics specializes in reports on Head Start eligible populations. We have compiled a list of the change in the poverty rate for young families in each of the these Metro Areas between the years of 2009 to 2013; 2013 being the latest year for which we have data. The top 10 metro areas with the biggest increase in their poverty rate for young families are listed below. This list gives a quick snap shot of how our nation’s young families are faring as well as giving an overview of how many children might be eligible for Head Start services in each area.

In all 10 cases, the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 increased over the years from 2009 to 2013 while the percentage and total number of children under the age of 5 dropped. This means that there are fewer young children in each of these metropolitan areas from 2009 to 2013, but the portion of these children living in poverty has increased. Additionally, all but one of these metro areas increased in population over the 5 years analyzed.

Metro Area 2009 0-5 Poverty Rate 2013 0-5 Poverty Rate Change from 2009 to 2013
10. Texarkana, TX-AR 20.7% 35% +13.3%
9. Brunswick, GA 12.6% 27.1% +14.5%
8. Goldsboro, NC 20.6% 37.4% +16.8%
7. Bend-Redmond, OR 4.3% 22.2% +17.9%
6. Port St. Lucie, FL 10.5% 28.4% +17.9%
5. Hot Springs, AR 28.1% 46% +17.9%
4. Madera, CA 15.5% 34.4% +18.9%
3. Rome, GA 12.6% 31.6% +19%
2. Salisbury, MD-DE 7.4% 27.3% +19.9%
1. Michigan City-La Porte, IN 24.2% 47.3% +23.1%
Methodology


10. Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area

The Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area is comprised of Bowie County, Texas and Miller County, Arkansas. From 2009-2013 it experienced a 13.3% increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. This resulted in a 67% increase in the number of estimated Head Start eligible children over the same 5 year period, from 814 in 2009 to 1,361 in 2013.

Two Head Start programs operate in the Metro Area: Community Services of Northeast Texas and CDI Head Start serving Southwest Arkansas. Both programs have service areas that go beyond the Texarkana Metro Area, making it difficult to estimate the fundeded enrollment assigned specifically to this metro area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Texarkana, TX-AR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 135,978 149,579 13,601
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.90% 6.50% -0.40%
Estimated Children Under 5 9,382 9,723 340
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 21.70% 35.00% 13.30%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 814 1,361 547
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Texarkana, AR - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, AR – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, TX - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Texarkana, TX – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

9. Brunswick, GA

The Brunswick, GA Metro Area is comprised of Glynn, Brantley and McIntosh Counties in Georgia. It includes the cities of Brunswick, St. Simons and Darien. The poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 more than doubled from 12.6% in 2009 to 27.1% in 2013. This was combined with a 10% increase in population over the same time period. As a result, the number of children in the metro area who are estimated to qualify for Head Start services more than doubled, from 342 in 2009 to 775 in 2013; an increase of 432 children.

Coastal Georgia Community Action Authority operates the Head Start program in this area. It’s service area appears to go beyond the borders of the Brunswick, GA Metro Area. It’s funded enrollment is 871 for Head Start and 96 for Early Head Start with a total cumulative enrollment of 1021 Head Start children in the 2013-2014 school year. According to the NIEER Yearbook, Georgia offers a free state funded pre-kindergarten program that has no income requirements. The program is available in all counties, to all children. It is likely that the increased number of young families living in poverty in Brunswick still have plenty of options for enrolling their children in an early childhood education program.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Brunswick, GA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 102,833 113,411 10,578
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.60% 6.30% -0.30%
Estimated Children Under 5 6,787 7,145 358
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 12.60% 27.10% 14.50%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 342 775 432
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Brunswick, GA Metro Area – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Brunswick, GA Metro Area – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

8. Goldsboro, NC

The Goldsboro, NC Metro Area consists of Wayne County in North Carolina. It has experienced an increase in it’s poverty rate for young families of 16.8 percentage points from 20.6% in 2009 to 37.4% in 2013. Over the same period it’s population grew by 9.4% to 124,262. This growth in population and the poverty rate has driven an increase in the estimated number of children who are eligible for Head Start services from 730 in 2009 to 1,283 in 2013; an increase of 553 children.

Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency operates the Head Start program in this Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 405 Head Start and 152 Early Head Start children. It served a total of 451 Head Start children in the 2013-2014 school year. Though this is well short of the estimated eligible children, the state of North Carolina offers a state funded pre-kindergarten program to at-risk and low-income 4 year olds. The pre-k program reaches all counties in the state and served almost 30,000 4 year olds for the 2012-2013 school year. It is conceivable that there are a number of enrollment opportunties open to the remaining eligible families in Goldsboro through the state funded pre-k program.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Goldsboro, NC Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 113,510 124,262 10,752
Percent Under the Age of 5 7.80% 6.90% -0.90%
Estimated Children Under 5 8,854 8,574 -280
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 20.60% 37.40% 16.80%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 730 1,283 553
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Goldsboro, NC – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Goldsboro, NC – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

7. Bend-Redmond, OR

The Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area is comprised of Deschutes County, Oregon and includes the cities of Bend and Redmond, Oregon. The Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area has experienced a serious increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. Over 5 years it went from 4.3% in 2009 to 22.2% in 2013. This caused the Head Start eligible population (defined here as 3 & 4 year olds whose family income is at or below federal poverty guidelines) to grow by 377% from 172 children in 2009 to 823 in 2013.

The area is served by Neighbor Impact Head Start. The program had a funded enrollment of 433 in 2013-2014 and a total cumulative enrollment of 505. This is well short of the 823 estimated Head Start children in the Metro Area. The state of Oregon offers a state funded pre-kindergarten program with a statewide enrollment of 7,184 3 & 4 year olds with similar income eligiblity requirements to Head Start. This state funded program may make up for the difference between the estimated number of Head Start eligible children and the number of enrollment opportunities available to them.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Bend-Redmond, OR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 156,588 162,547 5,959
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.40% 5.70% -0.70%
Estimated Children Under 5 10,022 9,265 -756
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 4.30% 22.20% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 172 823 650
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Bend-Redmond, OR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Bend-Redmond, OR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

6. Port St. Lucie, FL

The Port St. Lucie Metro Area is comprised of St. Lucie and Martin counties in Florida. The Port St. Lucie Metro Area experienced a 17.9 percentage point increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 from 10.5% in 2009 to 28.4% in 2013. This resulted in a 150% increase in the number of young families living in poverty in the Metro Area while the population at large only increased by 7%. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children, which is defined as 3 & 4 year olds living at or below poverty guidelines, rose from 983 in 2009 to 2,459 in 2013.

Martin County School Board Distrcit offers Head Start services in the Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 252 and a cumulative enrollment of 270 for the 2013-2014 school year. Additionally, a Migrant/Seasonal Head Start Program operates in the area with a funded enrollment of 547. The State of Florida also operates an extensive pre-Kindergarten program with not income eligiblity requirements, which may fill in any gaps in services for families in this metro area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Port St. Lucie, FL Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 403,449 432,973 29,524
Percent Under the Age of 5 5.80% 5.00% -0.80%
Estimated Children Under 5 23,400 21,649 -1,751
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 10.50% 28.40% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 983 2,459 1,476
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Port St. Lucie, FL - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Port St. Lucie, FL – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

5. Hot Springs, AR

The Hot Springs, AR metro area is comprised of Garland County, Arkansas. Over the 5 years from 2009 to 2013 it experienced a 17.9% point increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5. It is the only metro area on this list that had a concurrent decline in population over the same 5 year period, albeit a very small decline of less than 1%. The increase in the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 went from 28.1% in 2009 to 46% in 2013. This resulted in a 49% increase in the number of young families living in poverty. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children went from 647 in 2009 to 963 in 2013.

Community Services Office, Inc. operates the Head Start program in the Metro Area with a funded enrollment of 223 and cumulative enrollment of 308 for the 2013-2014 school year. It is likely that the Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Program also serves children in the area. ABC is a state funded pre-kindergarten program for income eligible 4 year olds. ABC has income eligibility requirments that allow them to enroll children whose family income is up to 200% of federal poverty guidelines, allowing them to enroll above and beyond the Head Start eligible population. It seems likely that there is a need for expanded services in the Hot Springs, AR Metro Area.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Hot Springs, AR Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 97,559 96,900 -659
Percent Under the Age of 5 5.90% 5.40% -0.50%
Estimated Children Under 5 5,756 5,233 -523
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 28.10% 46.00% 17.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 647 963 316
Hot Springs, AR - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Hot Springs, AR - The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Hot Springs, AR – The estimated number of Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

4. Madera, CA

The Madera, CA Metro Area is comprised of Madera County, California. The poverty rate for Madera, CA more than doubled from 15.5% in 2009 to 34.4% in 2013. This resulted in more than 100% growth in the number of young families living in poverty. There were 766 estimated Head Start eligible children in the metro area in 2009 and 1,613 in 2013.

Madera County Board of Supervisors operates a Head Start program in the metro area with a funded enrollment of 372 and a cumulative enrollment of 492 for the 2013-2014 school year. The Central California Migrant Head Start Program also operates in multiple cities in the area serving Migrant Head Start children. The state of California also operates a state funded pre-kindergarten program that serves 3 and 4 year olds whose family income is 75% of poverty guidelines or lower.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Madera, CA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 147,144 152,255 5,111
Percent Under the Age of 5 8.40% 7.70% -0.70%
Estimated Children Under 5 12,360 11,724 -636
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 15.50% 34.40% 18.90%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 766 1,613 847
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Madera, CA - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Madera, CA – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

3. Rome, GA

The Rome Metropolitan Area is made up of Floyd County, Georgia. Over the years of 2009 to 2013 the area has maintained a stable overall population while the overall number of small children has dropped. The poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 has increased significantly, from 12.6% in 2009 to 31.6% in 2013. This has caused the estimated number of young families living in poverty to more than double. The number of estimated Head Start eligible children went from 362 to 777 over this time period.

Tallatoona Community Action Partnership Inc. operates a Head Start program in the metro area with a funded enrollment of 578 and a total cumulative enrollment of 668 for the 2013-2014 school year. 2 of the program’s 9 centers are within the metro area, making it possible that the area’s growing Head Start eligible population is under served. The state of Georgia operates a state funded Pre-Kindergarten program for 4 year olds which has no income eligiblity requirements. This may make up for the difference in the areas Head Start funded enrollment and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Rome, GA Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 95,688 95,988 300
Percent Under the Age of 5 7.50% 6.40% -1.10%
Estimated Children Under 5 7,177 6,143 -1,033
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 12.60% 31.60% 19.00%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 362 777 415
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Rome, GA - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Rome, GA – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

2. Salisbury, MD-DE

The Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area is comprised of the counties of Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties in Maryland and Sussex county in Delaware. The American Community Survey added Sussex County in Delaware to the metro area starting in 2013, making that year’s data not fully comparable to previous years. Still, the general trend in the poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 has been a steady increase, 7.4% in 2009 to 32.4% in 2012. This caused an increase from 224 estimated Head Start eligible children in 2009 to 981 in 2012.

Shore Up Inc. operates the Head Start program in the area with a funded enrollment of 991 and a total cumulative enrollment 1036 in the 2013-2014 school year. It’s service area extends beyond the Salisbury Metro Area, so a portion of it’s enrollment goes beyond the estimated number of Head Start eligible children in Salisbury. The state of Maryland has a pre-kindergarten program that enrolls 3 and 4 year olds whose family incomes are up to 185% of federal poverty guidelines. These enrollment opportunities may make up for any difference between the number of funded Head Start slots and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children in the area.

3-Year American Community Survey Data          
Salisbury, MD-DE Metro Area 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Population 119,911 124,468 125,116 126,211 381,780
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.30% 6.00% 5.70% 6.00% 5.60%
Estimated Children Under 5 7,554 7,468 7,132 7,573 21,380
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 7.40% 13.00% 25.40% 32.40% 27.30%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 224 388 725 981 2,335
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Salisbury, MD - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Salisbury, MD – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

1. Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area

The Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area is comprised of La Porte County, Michigan in it’s entirety. The metro area has experienced a 23.1% increase in it’s poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 from 24.2% in 2009 to 47.3% in 2013. It’s total population and portion of the population under 5 has remained stable over the same time period. The increase in the poverty rate has resulted in an 87% increase in the number of young families living in poverty. The estimated number of Head Start eligible children rose from 665 in 2009 to 1,242 in 2013. It should be noted that the 2013 poverty rate has a 10% margin of error, which is unusually high. This means that the 2013 poverty rate for families with children under the age of 5 could be as low as 37.3% or as high as 57.3%.

Community Organization of Social Concerns operates the Head Start program in the area with a funded enrollment of 311 and a total cumulative enrollment of 341 for the 2013-2014 school year. There is no state funded pre-kindergarten program. Unless there are other enrollment opportunities in this metro area, it appears that the growing population of Head Start eligible families is underserved.

3-Year American Community Survey      
Michigan City-La Porte, IN Metro Area 2009 2013 2009-2013 Change
Population 110,728 111,228 500
Percent Under the Age of 5 6.20% 5.90% -0.30%
Estimated Children Under 5 6,865 6,562 -303
Poverty Rate for Families with Children Under 5 24.20% 47.30% 23.10%
Estimated Number of Head Start Eligible Children 665 1,242 577
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau
Poverty rate and the estimated number of Head Start eligible children. Derived from the 3-Year ACS from the US Census Bureau

Below is a breakdown of the Metro Area’s estimated Head Start eligible population into Zip Codes using 2010-2012 5-Year ACS Data. For 2013 data or for your program’s free 2012 report you can contact Early Childhood Analytics.

Michigan City-La Porte, IN - Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS
Michigan City-La Porte, IN – Number of estimated Head Start eligible children broken down by Zip Code. 2012 5-Year ACS

Methodology

Estimates are taken from the 3-Year American Community Survey, an ongoing survey conducted by the US Census Bureau that tracks economic characteristics, demographic characteristics, social characteristics and other characteristics of the US population through a representative sampling. The number of children under the age of 5 living in poverty is estimated by taking the total population, multiplying it by the percentage of children under the age of 5 in the population, and multiplying the result by the percentage of families with children under the age of 5 whose income in the past 12 months was below poverty.

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