The prevalence of special health care needs in the child population is slightly higher among children with lower family incomes. Among children with family incomes below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), 16.0 percent have special health care needs, compared to 15.4 percent of children with family incomes between 100 and 199 percent of the FPL. Among children with family incomes above 200 percent of FPL, less than 15 percent have special health care needs. Poverty guidelines are determined by a combination of family income and family size: in 2009, the Federal poverty guideline (100 percent of poverty) was $22,050 for a family of four.

The prevalence of special health care needs also varies by the race/ethnicity of the child. Prevalence is highest among non-Hispanic Black children (17.5 percent), non-Hispanic White children (16.3 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native children (13.5 percent), and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander children (12.3 percent). Prevalence is lowest among Hispanic children (11.2 percent) and Asian children (8.0 percent).

Among Hispanic children, the prevalence of special health care needs varies substantially depending on whether English or Spanish is the primary language spoken at home. Among Spanish speakers, 8.2 percent of children are reported to have special health care needs, but the prevalence among English-speaking Hispanics is similar to that of non-Hispanic White children (14.4 percent).

Back to top