Participation in federal programs
Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 137,738
Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 310,000
EITC recipients: 404,000
Families receiving child care subsidies: 21,300
Households receiving federal rental assistance: 185,000
Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 200,174
Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: 659,816
Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 117,837
Participants in all Head Start programs: 14,331
Asset poverty rate: 24.2%
Average college graduate debt: $29,391
Unbanked households: 5.8%
Poverty by demographic
Child poverty rate: 14.9%
Number of Black and Hispanic children below 200% poverty: 211,000
Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 32%
Senior poverty rate: 10%
Children in foster care: 8,539
Number of grandparents raising grandchildren: 81,866
Percent of children in immigrant families: 28%
Percent of children living in single parent families: 32%
Teen birth rate per 1,000 population ages 15-19: 11
Economic well-being
Extreme poverty rate: 5.4%
Food insecurity: 10.6%
Minimum Wage: $10.00
Number of Black and Hispanic children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: 175,000
Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 4%
Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 15.7%
Percent of working families under 200% of the poverty line: 20.2%
Poverty rate: 11.5%
Unemployment rate: 4.9%
High school graduation rate: 85%
Percent of adult population with at least a high school degree: 89.1%
Percent of college students with debt: 65%
Percent of population over age 25 with at least a four year college degree: 41.2%
Percent of teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 5%
Home foreclosure rate: 2.22%
Homeless people: 21,237
Households paying more than 50% of income on housing: 228,150
Percent renters: 38%
Total households: 2,538,485
Justice System
Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 961
Total incarcerated (prison and jail): 20,300

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key Massachusetts policies and a link to an organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports