In the midst of the heated debates on deficit reduction and job creation measures, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s at stake for low-income families and children. Our new interactive map reveals that vulnerable Americans in congressional districts nationwide are living in poverty and are struggling to feed their families. The map also shows that programs like SNAP/food stamps, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are working to provide economic security to millions of Americans every year. Click on your district to get the facts! To see the same information for your state, click here.
Here are some highlights:
- The Head Start program continues to be a pathway to a better life for children living in poverty. In the 50 congressional districts, where poverty for children under 5 was greatest in 2010—averaging 42.8 percent—nearly 4,000 children in each district were enrolled in Head Start, representing about 48 percent of the estimated eligible population.
- Public health insurance programs keep families healthy. In over a quarter of congressional districts, Medicaid provides health coverage to more than one in five residents.
- Social Security helps keep families out of poverty. In 75 percent of congressional districts, at least one in four households receives all or part of their income from Social Security.
Find out how your community is faring in this economy and ask your member of Congress to protect effective safety net programs that keep millions from poverty and hardship each year.
In districts highlighted in red, more than 1 in 5 residents live below the poverty line.
- Population, Occupied households, Poverty rate, Uninsurance, SNAP, Social Security, Head Start, Medicare, and Medicaid enrollment: CAP analysis of U.S. Census Bureau. 2011. “2010 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates” http://www.census.gov/acs/www/.
- Pell Grant recipients: Unpublished 2011 data from the US Department of Education.
- Food hardship: Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). 2011. “Food Hardship in America 2010.” Washington, DC. Available at: http://frac.org/pdf/aug2011_food_hardship_report_children.pdf.