Wyoming Counts Kids: 14.6% of Campbell families living in poverty

(Bessi/Pixabay)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — On Thursday, The Wyoming Community Foundation, the Annie E. Casey partner for the Wyoming Kids Count, released the 2022 Wyoming Counts Kids Data Book which offers a look at children and family well-being.

The report includes data related to demographics, family structure, income, health, education and more. In addition to providing statewide and county data, the Wyoming Community Foundation provided recommendations for improving well-being such as raising minimum wage to $12 an hour, expanding Medicaid and permanently extending postpartum Medicaid coverage. The University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center analyzed the data.

Wyoming remains the least populated U.S. state, with 582,000 people, and while the number of people aged at least 75 years has increased by nearly 8,700 people since 2011, the number of people aged 9 years or younger grew only about 5,800 people. The state’s Hispanic population has grown 17% in the last decade, the report said.

Here is a look at some of the Campbell County information the 2022 Wyoming Counts Kids Data Book shows:

Campbell kids living in poverty

  • In Campbell County, the percentage of children overall living below the poverty line was at 14.6% in 2020, up from 8.2% in 2011.
  • Kids living in single family homes are more likely to live in poverty. In Campbell, 25.9% of kids in single family homes were living below the poverty line in 2020 compared with 11.5% of kids living with married parents.
  • Kids living with single mothers are more likely to live in poverty than those living with single fathers:
    • In Campbell, 39.6% of single mother households were below the poverty line in 2020, up from 35.0% in 2011.
    • 1.2% of single father households were below the poverty line in 2020 compared with 2.0% in 2011.

Wage gap

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  • Campbell County’s wage gap in 2020 exceeded the statewide wage gap. Women earned 39 cents to every dollar a man earned.
  • The 2020 wage gap between men and women in Campbell County grew from a 44 cent gap in 2011.

WIC and SNAP

  • The percentage of Campbell County mothers enrolled in the Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) fell from 29.5% in 2011 to 24.6% in 2020.
  • The percent of all Campbell residents receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program support or other public assistance rose to 5.6% in 2020, up from 4.0% in 2011

Children lacking health insurance

  • 11.9% of Campbell children were not covered by a plan providing “comprehensive health coverage” in 2020.

Education

  • 9.2% of Campbell mothers didn’t have a high school diploma at the time of birth in 2020, down from 13.2% in 2011.
  • On-time graduation rose to 84.0% in 2020-2021 in the Campbell County School District 1, up from 81.1% in 2011-2012.
  • The number of preschool programs available in Campbell rose to two in 2021-2022, up from 1 in 2012-2013.

Childcare facilities

  • Campbell had 48 childcare facilities able to offer care for 1,753 kids in 2021. That compares with 62 facilities with a capacity for 1,617 kids in 2017.

Family makeup

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  • Campbell County’s portion of children in married couple homes increased from 73.8% in 2011 to 77.6% in 2020. While the state, overall, experienced an increase as well, from 73.1% to 74.9% over that period, many counties experienced decreases. Those counties were Big Horn, Carbon, Converse, Fremont, Hot Springs, Johnson, Natrona, Niobrara, Sublette, Sweetwater, Teton, Uinta and Washakie. Teton’s portion of children in married couple families dropped from 85.8% to 68.1%.
  • Among single-parent homes, the portion of children in Campbell County in single-father homes increased from 25.1% to 37.3% while it decreased, in a corresponding manner, from 74.9% to 62.7% in single-mother homes. That trend was also seen statewide, as the portion of children in these situations who were in single-father homes increased from 29.4% in 2011 to 31.1% in 2020.

Births and birth outcomes

  • Along with nearly all Wyoming counties, Campbell County’s live births decreased from 2011 to 2020. In Campbell County, the decrease over that period was 755 to 597.
  • The percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers, out of all births, increased, from 37.4% to 39.0%. The county with the highest percentage of babies born to unmarried mothers is Fremont, which experienced an increase of 51.9% to 54.2%. Crook County, with 11%, had the lowest percentage of births to unmarried mothers in 2020, down from 18.9% in 2011.
  • Campbell County’s percentage of births delivered via c-section decreased from 24.6% in 2011 to 22.4% in 2020. Statewide, the portion of births delivered via c-section decreased from 27.0% to 26.4% over that period.
  • Campbell County’s gap above the state average for babies born before 37 weeks gestation widened from 2011 to 2020. In 2011, Campbell County’s portion was 10.1% while Wyoming’s was 9.9%. In 2020, the county’s portion was 11.6%, about 1.5% above the state’s portion. Weston and Crook counties’ rates increased about 5 percentage points from 2011, when they were each about 10.2%, to 2020, when they were around 15.7%.
  • However, the portion of births in which mothers received less than adequate prenatal care decreased in Campbell, from 22.1% in 2011 to 17.6% in 2020. Weston’s jumped from 6.4% to 28.1%. Sheridan’s dropped from 30.6% to 11.8%. “Adequate prenatal care” was defined as the percentage of mothers who reported receiving less than 80% of prenatal visits the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends beginning in the fourth month of pregnancy.
  • In Campbell County, the portion of mothers who smoked during pregnancy dropped from 21.5% to 15.7%. These portions increased by less than 1 percentage point in Weston, Johnson and Albany counties, while the rest of the state saw decreases apart from Niobrara and Teton counties, which had fewer than five mothers reporting smoking during pregnancy.

Wyoming Community Foundation Director of Programs Micah Richardson said in a news release that in the past few years, more public supports have become available in Wyoming.

“Wyoming’s commitment to caring for our neighbors helped a large number of families stay afloat as issues like hunger continued to rise,” Richardson said.

Data from 2019 indicates 14% of the state’s children were food insecure, and about 44,000 Wyoming workers earn less than $15 per hour. Wyoming’s minimum wage is $5.15.

“Everything we can do to support advanced education among parents will help families live in self-sufficiency for the rest of their lives,” Director of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation Rebekah Smith said in the release.

The foundation created the Wyoming Self-Sufficiency Standard 2020 and a calculator for it for Wyomingites to learn about living wages in the state. She said her organization’s demographic analysis of the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Wyoming found that higher levels of education are associated with higher wages.

Mary Stroka is the Community Reporter for County 17. She's new to Wyoming and has loved getting to know the area. She covers crime, education, faith, government, and policy for County 17. Feel free to contact her at mary@county17.com with your news tips and ideas.