Over 22 percent of Dallas County children live in poverty, and state and local
policies can do more to support the success of all kids
State of Texas Children report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities provides data and policy
solutions to state and local leaders
December 4, 2018
DALLAS — Large disparities in child poverty across race, ethnicity and gender persist in Dallas County due
to historical and current policies that create or maintain differences in opportunity and outcomes for
Dallas area children, according to a briefing on the State of Texas Children report by the Center for
Public Policy Priorities here today. As state and local leaders weigh policy priorities, they should keep
Dallas County’s 155,000 children (22.5 percent) living in poverty at the top of their minds. The report
lays out the challenges Dallas County children and families face and also some common-sense policy
solutions for state and local leaders to consider.
Today’s event featured brand new fact sheets with data and questions for elected officials about public
education achievement and funding, quality job benefits, health care accessibility, and immigrant
“My hometown of Dallas is a vibrant community with strong leaders and tremendous opportunity,” said
Ann Beeson, CEO of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Unfortunately, too many Dallas area
children don’t have a fair chance to be healthy, well-educated, safe and financially secure. To build a
better future for all Dallas children requires all of us to work together to advance common-sense policy
“Children are Dallas County’s future, and we need to build off our successes in early childhood education
and support our leaders who are pushing for more educational opportunity,” said Cynthia Yung,
Executive Director of The Boone Family Foundation. “With one in three Dallas County children living in
single-mother homes, we cannot ignore the gender inequity that threatens Dallas women and their
families. We can do more to close the wage and health care gaps to better support women and their
families in our communities.”
Key Dallas-specific report findings include:
• The Need for Good Jobs
o Nearly 155,000 Dallas County kids live in poverty (22.5 percent).
o Female-headed single parent households are nearly twice as likely to live below the
poverty line ($16,895 for a single-parent family of two) compared to male-headed single
o The median income for a woman in Dallas County is $2,000 less than the median income
for a man.
o 41 percent of Dallas workers lack access to paid sick leave.
• Health Care Access:
o Around 104,000 Dallas County children (ages 0-18) are uninsured (14 percent).
o Hispanic children are about twice as likely to lack health insurance in Dallas County as
their non-Hispanic peers (19 percent vs. nine percent for White, 10 percent for Black,
and seven percent for Asian).
o 28 percent of Dallas County parents are uninsured.
o Nearly half of Dallas County women of childbearing age are uninsured (47 percent of
women ages 15-44).
• Public Education:
o 70 percent of the students who dropped out of school in 2017 in Dallas County were
o Only 84 percent of Dallas County students in the class of 2017 graduated on time.
o Dallas County’s Hispanic (84 percent), Black (81 percent), and Multiracial (81 percent)
students face greater barriers to graduating from high school on time than their White
(87 percent) and Asian (94 percent) peers.
o Black (21 percent) and Hispanic (33 percent) third graders are much less likely to be
proficient in math than their Asian (72 percent) and White (59 percent) peers.
• Children in Immigrant Families:
o One in four Dallas County children (146,000 kids) live with at least one parent who is not
a U.S. citizen (including legally authorized residents).
o Families with at least one immigrant parent are more likely to live in poverty than
families with no immigrant parents in Dallas County (26 percent vs. 19 percent).
o 50,000 youth who a