LIFE at Home

There were 60,907 children under the age of 18 in Brown County in 2014, according to the U.S. Census. In 2014, the most recent year shown in Figure 1, the percentage of children living in poverty was 18% in Brown County. That is the same as the percentage of children in poverty in Wisconsin as a whole, but slightly less than the U.S. average of 22%. There has been a slight increase in the child poverty rate in Brown County over the past several years, from 15% in 2011 to 18% in 2014.

Poverty rates vary by marital and household status. For example, the poverty rate for single parent households was higher than the rate for two-parent households in both 2011 and 2014.

Both leaders and community members have fairly positive views about care for vulnerable people in the area (e.g., elderly, individuals with disabilities, children). In 2016, 64% of community members and 62% of leaders said that Brown County did an excellent or good job of caring for vulnerable people. About 30% of community members and leaders rated Brown County as fair or poor on this issue. The trends were very similar when comparing community members’ views in 2011 and 2016. Among leaders, the most notable change was that fewer leaders rated the area as good or excellent in 2016 (62%) compared to 2011 (73%).

Figure 3 provides an overview of the leading indicators for the home sector. Overall, data on the leading indicators reveal a high level of stability over time. For example, 13% of all births in Brown County were to women who did not have a high school degree in 2014. In 2010, that number was 15%.

Another leading indicator is the cost of childcare as a percent of median family income. In 2015, the approximate cost of caring for an infant was $9,025 annually (13.2% of median income for families with children, which was $68,629 according to the U.S. Census). A child age 3-5 averaged $7,875 (11.5% of median income). In 2010, infant care cost 13.2% of median income while care for children aged 3-5 was proportionately lower, at 11.0% of median income. The number of older (65+) adults living in poverty has also remained fairly stable (approximately 7% over the past several years).