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Data on families with low incomes across America can inform two-generation approaches


Using national data from 2011 and 2021, we first detail levels of household poverty and low-income status among families that include at least one parent and one child under age 18 and show how those rates changed over the last decade. We also look at these data separately for families headed by a single parent, families with young children, families with young parents, and multigenerational families. These family types, which can overlap (for example, many single-parent families live in multigenerational households), often face additional barriers to achieving economic security and stability, and thus represent a priority population for many human service programming efforts. Using the 2021 data, we then look more closely at families in households with low incomes and document some of their demographic and family characteristics, including those typically prioritized in 2Gen approaches—for example, health status, education, employment, housing status, and economic supports from human service programs. These data do not allow us to look directly at two of the domains highlighted in 2Gen approaches—early care and education (ECE) and social capital. However, we can touch on these topics indirectly using community-level data from the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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