A Research Note on the Prevalence of Housing Eviction Among Children Born in U.S. Cities
A growing body of research suggests that housing eviction is more common than previously recognized and may play an important role in the reproduction of poverty. The proportion of children affected by housing eviction, however, remains largely unknown. We estimate that one in seven children born in large U.S. cities in 1998–2000 experienced at least one eviction for nonpayment of rent or mortgage between birth and age 15. Rates of eviction were substantial across all cities and demographic groups studied, but children from disadvantaged backgrounds were most likely to experience eviction. Among those born into deep poverty, we estimate that approximately one in four were evicted by age 15. Given prior evidence that forced moves have negative consequences for children, we conclude that the high prevalence and social stratification of housing eviction are sufficient to play an important role in the reproduction of poverty and warrant greater policy attention.
KeywordsEviction Housing Material hardship Poverty Children
We thank Sara S. McLanahan, Brandon M. Stewart, Matthew J. Salganik, three anonymous reviewers, and members of the Stewart Lab and the Fragile Families Working Group for comments on early drafts. We thank the Demography copyeditors for helping to improve our prose. All errors are our own. Research reported in this publication was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P2CHD047879. Funding for the Fragile Families Study was provided through Award Numbers R01HD36916, R01HD39135, and R01HD40421, and by a consortium of private foundations. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
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