Colorado Child Poverty Rate Declined in 2013

First decline since 2008; yet poverty higher than pre-recession

Contact: Tara Manthey
Title: Communications Director
Phone: (720) 256-1312

Colorado Child Poverty Rate Declined in 2013

First decline since 2008; yet poverty higher than pre-recession


September 18th, 2014

Denver, CO – Child poverty in Colorado decreased in 2013 for the first time since the start of the Great Recession, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate in 2013 was 16.9 percent, down from 18.5 percent in 2012—a statistically significant decline according to the Census Bureau.

Colorado saw the sixth-largest percentage decline in child poverty among all states, with approximately 17,000 fewer children living in poverty in 2013. The decrease was part of a national drop in child poverty.

“It is good news that more Colorado kids are living in families that are closer to making ends meet,” said Chris Watney, President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “More income for parents means more stability for kids.”

Even with the decline in 2013, however, more than 200,000 Colorado children remained in poverty, which is nearly twice the number of children who lived in poverty in 2000.

“As our economy gains momentum, we need to stay focused on ensuring all kids and families are included in the turn-around,” Watney said. “Our communities need the talents of all children. We risk losing out on the potential of some kids if we don’t track and address disparities in income, health and education.”

The decline in the child poverty rate included Hispanic and black children, but poverty rates among kids of color remain higher than those for white children. The rate for Hispanic children was 29 percent in 2013, down from 31 percent in 2012. The rate among black children was 33 percent, down from 41 percent in 2012. The poverty rate for white children fell to 9 percent from 10 percent in 2012.

The federal poverty level in 2013 was an annual income of $23,550 for a family of four.

Other highlights from the new data:

Long-term trends: While the decline in Colorado’s child poverty rate is welcome news, the poverty rate for children is still much higher than it was in 2000, when 10 percent of Colorado kids lived in poverty.

Median Household Income: Colorado’s median household income rose for the second year in a row. In 2013, the median household income in Colorado was $58,823, up from $57,430 in 2012, a statistically significant change.

Child Health Coverage: The percent of Colorado kids who are uninsured fell slightly between 2012 and 2013, but not enough to be statistically significant. However, the percentage of kids who were uninsured in 2013 (8.2 percent) compared to the percent who were uninsured in 2011 (9.4 percent) shows a statistically significant change. The long-term trend in health coverage for children remains positive.

Overall Health Coverage: The uninsured rate for people of all ages in Colorado declined from 14.7 percent in 2012 to 14.1 percent in 2013, a statistically significant change. This is an early sign of the impacts of health reform and 2014 census data to be released next year should demonstrate the full effect of new coverage options.


About Colorado Children's Campaign

The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization focused on improving the quality of and expanding access to child health, K-12 education and early childhood experiences. For more information, please visit

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tara Manthey at (720) 256-1312 or email Tara at