People in poverty in Minnesota

Tracking how many people in Minnesota live in poverty can help describe the burden of poverty in our state, show trends over time, and help identify disparities and inequities. A family of two adults and two children was below the poverty threshold if their annual household income was less than $24,858, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2017 threshold. See About the poverty data for more information.

Poverty affects health

Poverty is related to health. People living in poverty have a greater risk for things like asthma attacks and hospitalizations, childhood lead poisoning, and cardiovascular disease. People in poverty often live in areas with more outdoor air pollution (e.g., particulate matter).

Poverty has increased in Minnesota

The prevalence of Minnesotans living in poverty increased significantly in 2009, remaining between 11 and 12% for many years, and then decreased significantly in 2014, for people of all ages and for children under 18 years (shown in the chart below). Recently about 10% of people of all ages (and about 12% of children under the age of 18) were in poverty in 2017. Although Minnesota has a lower proportion of people living in poverty than the U.S. average, it affects about one in ten Minnesotans and one in nine children in Minnesota.

Poverty in Minnesota over time

 
 
Source: American Community Survey 1-year estimates.

There are racial and ethnic disparities in poverty

The prevalence of poverty in Minnesota differs between race and ethnicity groups. The most recent 5-year estimate for Minnesota indicates that just under one in three people that identify as American Indian or Alaska Native (29%) or as Black or African American (28%) are in poverty, significantly higher than poverty among the other racial/ethnic groups.

Poverty in Minnesota by race and ethnicity

 
 
Source: 2017 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Note: these categories represent the single race alone and are non-Hispanic unless otherwise noted. "Other race or multiple races" includes responses such as multiracial, mixed, interracial, a Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish group, or a selection of two or more races.

Educational attainment and poverty are related

The prevalence of poverty decreases for Minnesotans that have received more education. Recently, just under a quarter (24%) of adults that had not completed high school were in poverty.

Poverty in Minnesota by education

 
 
Source: 2017 American Community Survey 1-year estimates.