BATON ROUGE – Fewer Louisiana adults and children were living in poverty in 2018 than the year before, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau. The most significant drop was among children of color, which dropped by 4 percentage points to 43%. That means 22,000 fewer black children were living below the federal poverty line in 2018 compared to 2017. 

But while the American Community Survey contains encouraging news for Louisiana, it also showed how far the state has to go before its children and families enjoy the same economic stability as people in other parts of the country. Louisiana’s 18.6% poverty rate – down 1 point from 2017 – still ranks as the third-highest in the nation. The 26.2% poverty rate among all children is also the third-highest in the country, behind Mississippi and New Mexico. 

“The numbers are trending in the right direction, but low-income families in Louisiana still face far too many barriers to economic opportunity,” Louisiana Budget Project Executive Director Jan Moller said.  

Download the PDF to read a breakdown of the latest Census data by LBP’s Stacey Roussel and Neva Butkus – and what it means for Louisiana.