Children Under 5 in Poverty

Young children living in poverty or in a neighborhood of concentrated poverty experience unique barriers to food access, stable housing, employment, healthcare, and social support. These barriers can hinder a child’s ability to achieve academic success. In addition, children living below the poverty line may struggle with finding stable and substantial employment as adults.

Peer City Perspective

Louisville currently ranks 11th among its peer cities in child poverty among young children, with 24% of children under the age of 5 living in poverty. In 2018, the poverty line was $16,460 for a family of two and $25,100 for a family of four.

Louisville is in the middle of its peer group according to a natural breaks algorithm. Cities in green are those that outperform their peers, cities in yellow represent the middle cluster, and those in red are a group that lags behind its peers on this indicator.

Where is childhood poverty found in Louisville?

Although Louisville ranks 8th out of 17 cities in young child  poverty rates, child poverty varies substantially within the city. In the map to the left, areas with high rates of young child poverty are purple, and areas with average to low rates are white.

Young child poverty is most concentrated in Louisville’s western and downtown neighborhoods. Russell, California-Parkland, and Algonquin-Park Hill_Park Duvalle have young child poverty rates around 60%. The lowest rates of child poverty are in Floyd’s Fork, Northeast Jefferson, J-Town, and Fern Creek.

Scroll over the map to see values for each neighborhood. Zoom in to see street names that form the boundaries of each neighborhood.

Trends over time

Since 2013, there has been a downward trend in the Louisville for the number of children under 5 in poverty, though recent data suggest that the rate of young child poverty is leveling off or increasing. Louisville is currently below the peer mean and above the 25th percentile.

Comparison Most and Least Improved Cities

Memphis continues to be the lease improved city with 40% of its children under 5 living in poverty. They are over 15 percentage points above the peer mean. Louisville fell below the peer mean in 2013 and continues to improve. Six percentage points separate Louisville and the most improved peer city, Omaha.

Differences Based on Race

The percentage gap between Black and white children has yet to decrease. In Louisville, over 45% of Black children under 5 are living in poverty, compared to 13% of white children under 5.

Differences Based on Sex

The percentage of female and male children living in poverty in Louisville and our peer cities are approximately equal.