Number and share of U.S. children affected by increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024

In directly affected households In indirectly affected households
Group Number (thousands) Share of U.S. children* Number (thousands) Share of U.S. children* Total number affected (thousands) Total share of U.S. children* affected
Children with at least one parent† who would benefit 9,433 12.9% 4,956 6.8% 14,389 19.6%
Children with at least one adult† in the household who would benefit 12,432 16.9% 5,645 7.7% 18,077 24.6%

* Shares are out of an estimated total of 73,356,000 children living in the United States.

† “Parent” refers to the biological or adoptive parent of a child. “Adult” refers to any adult living in the child’s household—e.g., parent, grandparent, caretaker, or adult sibling.

Notes: Values reflect the population likely to be affected by the proposed change in the federal minimum wage. Wage changes resulting from scheduled state and local minimum wage laws are accounted for by EPI’s Minimum Wage Simulation Model. Totals may not sum due to rounding. Shares calculated from unrounded values. Directly affected workers will see their wages rise as the new minimum wage rate will exceed their current hourly pay. Indirectly affected workers have a wage rate just above the new minimum wage (between the new minimum wage and 115 percent of the new minimum). They will receive a raise as employer pay scales are adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage.

Sources: Economic Policy Institute Minimum Wage Simulation Model using data from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Congressional Budget Office. See Cooper, Mokhiber, and Zipperer 2019. Estimate for total number of U.S. children comes from U.S. Census Bureau 2017.

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