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

  • More than 30 million children in the U.S. live in poverty.
  • 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, where minorities comprise more than half the population, is the fifth or sixth-poorest large city in the U.S., according to 2010 census data. (Different ways of parsing the census data result in different rankings.) Here are some more facts about Tucson from the most recent U.S. census:

  • The population of Tucson in 2010 was 41.6% Hispanic, 5% African-American, 4.2% two or more races, and 2.7% Native American.
  • 23.3% of the city’s residents population were 18 or younger.
  • 25.2% of the population was living below the poverty line.