Characteristics of Urban and Rural Children

The demographic composition of the population of children in small and large rural areas differed from that of urban children. While the age distribution was similar across the three geographic categories, rural children were significantly more likely to be non-Hispanic White and have low family incomes.

In each geographic category, about one-third of children were 0–5 years old, one-third were 6–11, and one-third were 12–17 years of age.

Fewer than half of urban children were non-Hispanic White (49.5 percent), compared to 65.5 percent of children in large rural areas and 69.0 percent of those in small rural areas. Children in urban areas were more likely to be non-Hispanic Black (14.6 percent of urban children, compared to less than 10 percent of rural children) and Hispanic (25.3 percent of urban children, compared to 17.0 percent of children in large rural areas and 13.9 percent in small rural areas).

Children in rural areas were also significantly more likely than urban children to be poor. More than 26 percent of children in both small and large rural areas had household incomes below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), compared to 21.5 percent of urban children. In contrast, nearly one-third of urban children had household incomes of 400 percent or more of the FPL, compared to 17.0 percent of children in large rural areas and 14.5 percent of those in small rural areas.

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