economic equity and justice
People Living in Poverty by Age

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of people within age groups with incomes below the poverty line. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2021, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $27,479.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people in poverty in various age groups is a measure of the overall economic health of these groups and may reflect disparities in access to economic opportunity. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports.

How is Norfolk County doing?

In 2017-21, poverty rates in Norfolk County was highest among people aged 18 to 24 (31%). The 2,000 young people in poverty in Brookline contribute significantly to this, with a total of about 6,000 young people in poverty in the county. Poverty rates were lowest among Norfolk County residents ages 45-64 and under 5 (both at 5%).

Compared to Norfolk, both Essex County and the state had higher rates of poverty among youth 5 to 17 (both at 12%) and under age 5 (15% in Essex and 13% at the state level).

Sample sizes for most age groups in Brookline and comparison municipalities were too small to report reliably.

Notes about the data

The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

snapshot
People Living in Poverty by Age, 2017-21
18 to 2425 to 4445 to 645 to 1765 or OlderUnder 5
Brookline31%*8%6%*7%*11%*6%***
Arlington, Middlesex County10%***2%**5%**2%***10%*2%***
Cambridge, Middlesex County28%10%10%*16%*10%*13%**
Everett, Middlesex County4%***13%*9%*17%*11%*30%**
Newton, Middlesex County12%**4%*4%*3%**5%*3%***
Norfolk County12%6%5%6%8%5%
Essex County11%9%8%12%10%15%
Middlesex County14%7%6%8%8%9%
Massachusetts16%9%8%12%9%13%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of People Living in Poverty by Age, 2017-21
18 to 2425 to 4445 to 645 to 1765 or OlderUnder 5
Brookline2,050*1,529807*572*1,051*211***
Arlington, Middlesex County238***343**641**127***714*47***
Cambridge, Middlesex County2,6614,6921,688*1,472*1,251*618**
Everett, Middlesex County130***2,146*1,031*1,398*609*849**
Newton, Middlesex County572**656*898*378**824*110***
Norfolk County6,15310,1889,7926,7519,0871,951
Essex County6,86317,51618,12315,22413,4476,516
Middlesex County17,16830,93524,61217,66218,4497,684
Massachusetts88,408163,784145,086119,675106,13845,689

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.






INDICATORS TREND
Change in Total Population 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Language Diversity 1
Increasing
Foreign-Born Population 1
Increasing
Population by Age 1
Increasing
People with Disabilities 1
Increasing
Voter Registration -1
Decreasing
Voter Participation 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Total Jobs 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Living Wage 10 Not Applicable*
Median Household Income 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Income in Relation to Poverty Level -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty by Age -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Seniors Living in Poverty 1
Increasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Overall Housing Cost Burden -1
Decreasing
Median Home Value 0
Maintaining
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership 1
Increasing
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Renting 1
Increasing
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 1
Increasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Food Insecurity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Without Vehicles 1
Increasing
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Protected Land 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care 10 Not Applicable*
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate 10 Not Applicable*
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions 10 Not Applicable*
People 65 or Older Living Alone 1
Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity 0
Maintaining
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 10 Not Applicable*
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 1
Increasing
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity -1
Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity 10 Not Applicable*



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