New Report Highlights Effect of Housing Cost Burdens on Child Well-Being

The Annie E. Casey Foundation released the 2024 Kids Count Data Book on June 10. The report, which profiles national trends and ranks states according to child well-being indicators, shows that the percentage of children in families with a high housing cost burden remains unchanged since the last analysis in 2019. Analyzing U.S. Census and American Community Survey data from 2022, the report finds that 30% of children in the nation live in households with a high housing cost burden, even while the percentage of children living in poverty nationally decreased from 17% in 2019 to 16% in 2022. The report attributes this positive change to policies like the Child Tax Credit, which helped families cover basic needs like housing costs. The report highlights the fact that paying more than 30% of household income on housing limits what families have left to pay for other vital necessities, like food, healthcare, and childcare. While policies like the Child Tax Credit help lift children and their families out of poverty, increased federal investments in affordable housing are also necessary to ensure that households can afford housing costs without compromising access to other basic needs.

The report assesses child well-being using indicators from four categories: economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. These categories provide the best data available to measure the status of child well-being at the national and state levels. An interactive version of the data book provides state profiles enabling users to compare where states rank overall and across the four domains. Housing cost burden is included as one of the four indicators of economic well-being, along with the child poverty rate, percentage of children with parents who lack secure employment, and teenagers not in school or working.

“We know from research what all kids need to thrive: permanent relationships with caring adults; access to essentials such as food, mental and physical health care and stable housing; and a sense of safety and belonging in their communities,” explain the report’s authors.

Read the report and explore the interactive data book here.

Learn more about the connections between affordable housing and child anti-poverty by reading the OSAH fact sheet here.