Understanding How Poverty Affects Our Community
The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. If a family’s total income is less than the family’s threshold, then that family and every individual in it is considered in poverty.
Did you know?
- Before entering kindergarten, the average cognitive scores of children from high socio-economic status (SES) is 60% higher than children from low SES
- At age 4, children in poverty are 18 months below what is normal for their age group (cognitive levels)
- Children from middle-income, well-educated families know about 12,000 words in 3rd grade. Children in poverty know about 4,000 words.
Take a look at what this means for our community:
Poverty in Our Schools*Due to the Tuscaloosa City Schools' participation in the Community Eligibility Provision, percentages are likely higher. Numbers reported below based off the completion of the application for free/reduced lunch. Participation in CEP means families no longer have to fill out the application to report household income levels.
School Enrollment Free/
The Alberta School of Performing Arts 461 48.59% Arcadia Elementary School 299 41.14% Central Elementary School 335 82.09% Paul W. Bryant High School 877 53.93% Eastwood Middle School 470 50.85% Northridge High School 1,317 44.65% Northington Elementary School 385 70.91% Oakdale Elementary School 270 79.63% Oak Hill School 33 33.33% Rock Quarry Elementary School 558 12.54% Rock Quarry Middle School 534 19.10% Skyland Elementary School 279 65.59% Southview Elementary School 511 57.73% Southview Middle School 358 50.28% Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School 431 72.62% Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools - Elementary 293 23.55% Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools - Middle 168 20.83% Central High School 666 58.41% University Place Elementary School 369 53.93% University Place Middle School 140 50.71% Verner Elementary School 514 20.82% Woodland Forrest Elementary School 365 36.16% Westlawn Middle School 392 71.68%
Income and Poverty in Tuscaloosa
Median household income
(in 2014 dollars), 2010-2014*
$38,762 Per capita income in past 12 months
(in 2014 dollars), 2010-2014*
$22,308 Percentage of people in poverty* 25.2% Percentage of Tuscaloosa residents
below the poverty rent level
84% Poverty rate among high school graduates not in families in Tuscaloosa County 42.7% Poverty rate among high school graduates not in families in Alabama 23.4% Poverty rate among people who did not graduate high school not in families in Tuscaloosa County 56% Poverty rate among people who did not graduate high school not in families in Alabama 46.9%
*Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Effects of Poverty on Children (Klein & Knitzer, 2007)
- Cognitive Ability
- Emotional & Behavioral Outcomes
- Physical & Mental Health/Safety Problems
- Serious & Persisting Stressors
- School Achievement
Types of Poverty (Jensen, 2009)Absolute: extreme scarcity
Generational: at least two generationsSituational: sudden crisisRelative: insufficient incomeRural: populations below 50,000Urban: populations of 50,000+