28% of DC Children and Youth Live in 10 DC Neighborhoods with Lowest Median Family Income

Median family income in DC neighborhoods ranges from a low of $11,250 in Eastland Gardens/Kenilworth to nearly $216,000 in Hawthorn/Barnaby Woods/Chevy Chase.

More than one-quarter (28 percent) of DC children and youth under the age of 18 live in 10 neighborhoods with the lowest median family income (below $29,000), compared to 17 percent of all DC residents. This is well below what families need for a basic living standard.

According to the Basic Economic Security Tables of Wider Opportunities for Women, a family of one worker and one infant in DC needs $57,348 and a family of one worker, one preschooler and one school-age child needs $85,680 to be economically secure. This means having enough money to pay for housing, food, utilities transportation, child care and health care – and not have to choose one over the other.

In addition to Eastland Gardens/Kenilworth, these neighborhoods are:

•    Historic Anacostia (median family income of $16,310)
•    Mayfair/Hillbrook/Mahaning Heights ($18,800)
•    Sheridan/Barry Farm/Buena Vista ($21,300)
•    Deanwood/Burrville/Grant Park/Lincoln Heights/Fairmont Heights ($22,200)
•    Near Southeast/Navy Yard ($22,700)
•    Douglas/Shipley Terrace ($23,500)
•    Woodland/Fort Stanton/Garfield Heights Knox Hill ($24,200)
•    Congress Heights/Bellevue/Washington Highlands ($26,200)
•    Downtown/Chinatown/Penn Quarter/Mount Vernon Square/North Capitol Street ($28,300)

Why is this important? Simply this: Growing up in a high-poverty neighborhood is bad for children because families living there are more likely to struggle to meet their children’s basic materials needs.

Our city’s work of reducing poverty – particularly in neighborhoods with large numbers of children – remains unfinished. Family-based benefits, such as food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, while important, are not enough to alleviate the effects of poverty on a whole neighborhood.

Some potential steps for addressing this would include:

•    Evaluating the city budget to see how it does – and does not – invest in neighborhoods where the most children and families live and where they are most in need.

•    Aligning public and private support with where children live and where they are in most need to help build more assets and opportunities for children and families in some neighborhoods and improve equity across the city for all children.

•    Implementing potential good learning from investments in the DC Promise Neighborhood.

•    Using DC KIDS COUNT data to make wise decisions about how to support all DC neighborhoods and all DC children and youth.

Want to know more? Visit our 2012 DC KIDS COUNT e-Databook for an interactive map, plus more information about these and other neighborhood conditions for DC children and youth. We will be taking next Friday off from this blog for the holiday – but we will be back with a new number on January 4, 2013.

In the meantime, please tell us what you would like to know about DC children and youth “by the numbers!”

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