Tucson has many low-income families, and poverty has a tremendous impact on children’s chances of succeeding in school. A few important facts:

  • 40% of children living in poverty are not prepared for elementary school.
  • By the end of 4th grade, African-American, Hispanic and low-income students are, on average, two grades behind. By 12th grade, they are typically four years behind.
  • Nationally, young people ages 16-24 living in poverty are seven times more likely than their middle-class peers to drop out of school.

Tucson is one of the poorest large cities in the U.S., according to 2020 census data. (Different ways of parsing the census data can result in different rankings.) Here are some more facts about Tucson from the 2020 U.S. Census:

  • The population of Tucson is 44.2% Hispanic, 4.9% African-American, 8.7% two or more races, and 3.3% Native American.
  • 20.6% of the city’s residents population are 18 or younger.
  • 20.8% of the population is living below the poverty line.