The housing and neighborhood conditions of America's children: Patterns and trends over four decades

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This paper uses national and metropolitan area data from American Housing Surveys over four decades to examine the patterns and trends in the housing and neighborhood circumstances of children. Children across the income distribution have experienced dramatic improvements in the physical adequacy of their dwellings and in crowding but significant deterioration in housing affordability. Poor children are often in greatest jeopardy, with the rate of complaints about crime 25 percent higher in 2005 than in 1975, and the rate of school complaints twice as high in 2005 than 1975. Poor children also experience little payoff from residential mobility in terms of physical dwelling adequacy, crowding, affordability, or adequacy of schools, though moves are associated with fewer complaints about crime. However, it is the near poor - those between 101-200 percent of poverty - and not the poor who appear to be most affected by the tightness or looseness of the housing market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-245
Number of pages28
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011



  • Children
  • Housing
  • Neighborhoods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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