Families




Lower incomes, higher poverty rates and trouble covering basic needs – these are some of the pressures on Arkansas families. Moreover, many conditions are dramatically worse for African American and Latino individuals and families.

Teen births have fallen 49% since 2010 but remain high at 27 per 1,000 teen females – making Arkansas 51st in the nation on this indicator. Arkansas was 9th highest in the nation for child abuse and neglect, with 13.5 children per 1,000 in substantiated reports of abuse.

Arkansas was 47th in the nation for both child poverty and people living in poverty, with 16% of individuals and 22% of children living in poverty. Rates have increased and were significantly higher among children of color – 41% of African American and 29% of Latino children were in poverty, compared to 17% of white children.

Arkansas was 49th in the nation for household income, with a median income 75% of the national level at $56,300. Median income was dramatically lower for African American households at $37,400 compared to Asian and white households at $85,000 and $61,000, respectively.

People are working - unemployment in Arkansas was just 3.3% in 2022, slightly lower than the national rate and down from a high of 7.9% in 2011. Unemployment was more prevalent among Black or African American residents (9.4%) than Latino (4.5%), white (4.3%) and Asian (2.9%) residents in 2018-22. 

But income from jobs is often not enough. Almost half of Arkansas households were “ALICE” households – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – meaning they do not earn enough to fully provide for basic needs such as housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and necessary technology - even though many have income higher than the federal poverty level. And 16% of state residents were food insecure in 2021, above the national rate of 10%, making Arkansas 50th in the nation on this indicator. Just over half the census tracts in Arkansas were food deserts, higher than the 38% value for the nation.

Access to affordable financial services is also important to individuals and families. In 2017, slightly less than 8% of Arkansas households were unbanked (meaning they had no checking or savings accounts) and 19% were underbanked (meaning they used alternative services despite having accounts). And rates were much higher among some groups, with 31% of black or African American households and 24% of Latino households underbanked, compared to 17% of white households in 2015.

Housing is a bright spot - generally affordable in Arkansas, with homelessness relatively low. The homeownership rate was 66%, slightly higher than the national rate, and the state’s rate of homelessness was 10th lowest in the nation. However, homeownership was much lower among African Americans (44%) and Hispanics (53%). And though the housing affordability ratio of 2.9 put Arkansas 9th in the nation for affordable housing, 24% of housing units in Arkansas were considered unaffordable, costing their occupants more than 30% of their income.





INDICATORS TREND | STATE
Education: Access to Quality Seats for Infants and Toddlers Not Applicable
Education: Access to Quality Childcare Seats for Preschoolers Not Applicable
Education: Grade 3 Reading Decreasing
Education: Grade 8 Math Maintaining
Education: Graduation Rate Increasing
Education: Remediation Rate Maintaining
Education: Adults with a High School Degree Increasing
Education: Adults with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher Increasing
Education: Adults Pursuing Further Education Decreasing
Education: Imagination Libraries Increasing
Health: Low Birth Weight Babies Not Applicable
Health: Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Health: Overweight or Obese Students Increasing
Health: Overweight or Obese Adults Increasing
Health: Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Health: Smoking Rate Decreasing
Health: Insurance Coverage Rates Increasing
Health: Oral Health Increasing
Health: Life Expectancy Decreasing
Health: Routine Check-ups Increasing
Health: Overdose Deaths Increasing
Families: Teen Births Decreasing
Families: Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Families: People Living in Poverty Maintaining
Families: Elderly Living in Poverty Maintaining
Families: Median Household Income Maintaining
Families: Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Families: Homeownership Rate Decreasing
Families: Child Abuse and Neglect Decreasing
Families: Access to Financial Services Decreasing
Families: Food Insecurity Decreasing
Families: Food Deserts Not Applicable
Families: Homelessness Decreasing
Families: Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Families: Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Families: Households Below ALICE Threshold Not Applicable
Families: Overall Housing Cost Burden Decreasing
Families: Child Care Costs for Toddlers Not Applicable
Families: Medical Debt Not Applicable
Families: Households Receiving SNAP Decreasing
Families: Incarceration Rate Increasing
Community: Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Community: Charitable Giving Increasing
Community: Volunteering Increasing
Community: Group Participation Increasing
Community: Connection to Neighbors Decreasing
Community: Local Voting Not Applicable
Demographics: Change in Population Increasing
Demographics: Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Demographics: Change in Population by Age Not Applicable
Racial Equity: Remediation Rate Maintaining
Racial Equity: Adults with a High School Degree Increasing
Racial Equity: Adults with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher Increasing
Racial Equity: Adults Pursuing Further Education Decreasing
Racial Equity: Low Birth Weight Babies Not Applicable
Racial Equity: Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Racial Equity: Overweight or Obese Students Increasing
Racial Equity: Overweight or Obese Adults Increasing
Racial Equity: Physically Inactive Adults Maintaining
Racial Equity: Smoking Rate Decreasing
Racial Equity: Insurance Coverage Rates Increasing
Racial Equity: Oral Health Increasing
Racial Equity: Life Expectancy Decreasing
Racial Equity: Routine Check-ups Increasing
Racial Equity: Teen Births Decreasing
Racial Equity: Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Racial Equity: People Living in Poverty Maintaining
Racial Equity: Elderly Living in Poverty Maintaining
Racial Equity: Median Household Income Maintaining
Racial Equity: Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Racial Equity: Homeownership Rate Decreasing
Racial Equity: Child Abuse and Neglect Decreasing
Racial Equity: Food Insecurity Decreasing
Racial Equity: Homelessness Decreasing
Racial Equity: Cost of Homeownership Maintaining
Racial Equity: Medical Debt Not Applicable
Racial Equity: Households Receiving SNAP Decreasing
Racial Equity: Incarceration Rate Increasing
Racial Equity: Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable








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