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1 In 5 American Children Now Living In Poverty

1 In 5 American Children Now Living In Poverty

 

The numbers are shocking. In the United States today, 14.7 million children, or 20 percent, are poor. Child poverty increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009. That represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000, when 17 percent of the nation’s youth lived in low-income homes.

These are the findings in 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book. Produced annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this study profiles the status of children on a national and state-by-state basis and ranks states on 10 measures of well-being.

Low-Income Children Suffer Academically, Economically And Socially

In the foundation’s first examination of the impact of the recession on the nation’s children, the researchers concluded that low-income children will likely suffer academically, economically and socially long after their parents have recovered.

From Education Week:

“People who grew up in a financially secure situation find it easier to succeed in life, they are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to graduate from college and these are things that will lead to greater success in life,” said Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “What we are looking at is a cohort of kids who as they become adults may be less able to contribute to the growth of the economy. It could go on for multiple generations.”

The survey concludes that children from low-income families are more likely to be raised in unstable environments and change schools than their wealthier peers. As a result, they are less likely to be gainfully employed as adults.

There are additional social costs: economically disadvantaged children can result in reduced economic output, higher health expenditures and increased criminal justice costs for society, according to the survey.

Recession Has Hit Children Hard

Here are a few details from the report. You can read the complete study at Kids Count Data Book.

*  Over the last decade there has been a significant decline in economic well-being for low income children and families.

*  Data also reveals the impact of the job and foreclosure crisis on children. In 2010, 11 percent of children had at least one unemployed parent and 4 percent have been affected by foreclosure since 2007.

* 68% of 4th graders scored below proficient on the National Assessment (NAEP) reading test in 2009.

* Nevada had the highest rate of children whose parents are unemployed or underemployed. The state is also home to the most children affected by foreclosures: 13 percent of kids in Nevada have been kicked out of their homes because of an unpaid mortgage.

* Overall, the percentage of children living in families in which no parent had full-time work increased from 27 percent in 2008 to 31 percent in 2009. Black children were nearly twice as likely as white children to have an unemployed parent.

* Mississippi was in overall last place in child welfare for the 10th consecutive year. The rankings are determined by 10 indicators that reflect child poverty, such as undernourished infants, infant mortality, teen births and children in single-parent families. The top state for children was New Hampshire, followed by Minnesota, Massachusetts and Vermont.

* In Mississippi, 31 percent of children were living in poverty, the highest rate in the U.S.

Need To Invest In The Success Of Our Children

These are depressing statistics. Yet again, it seems that this is a country where the rich get richer, and the poor just keep sliding downhill.

Is this what we want for the future of the U.S.? What kind of state, what kind of country can we expect to have if we are not investing in the success of our children? What do you think?

Related Stories

School for Low-Income Kids: Opening A Door or “Educational Apartheid”?

Soon One In Four Children Will Be Living In Poverty

Growing Homelessness Among Children, Says 60 Minutes

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40 comments

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6:23PM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

Very sad, also the numbers of seniors living in poverty is increasing.

7:39AM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

As long as this keeps happening, it will only get worse.

A 33-year-old man who has fathered 30 kids is asking the state of Tennessee to give him a hand with his child support payments. Desmond Hatchett is having a tough time making ends meet while working a minimum wage job and seeing half of his paycheck get split up between his 11 baby mamas. Incidentally, his score and 10 kids is a record for Knox County, and some of his kids receive as little as $1.49 a month once the money is divvied up. Hatchett last appeared in court in May 2009, when he had a paltry 21 kids to his name and said he had no intention of having more. Somehow, he found a way to add nine more to his legacy, so we're guessing he probably isn't done at 30.

6:19AM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

so sad.

5:14PM PDT on Aug 24, 2011

This is sad and we all need to support in any way we can. There is no reason for any of this in the weathliest country in the world.

6:55PM PDT on Aug 22, 2011

This is so wrong. I support our local food banks and homeless shelters for women and children and the other one in our community for men.

4:36PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

This is just another example of the great plan to financially break the goverment so corporations/people can take advantage of the less fortunate who live in poverty and are uneducated. Then they can pay them third world wages with no unions to protect them and no benefits almost like slavery for the wealthy!

7:29PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

this is so sad

7:17PM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

And this is also why it is important to keep programs in schools that help students from low-income households succeed. Lately over the debt crisis, there has been talks of cutting the Trio program which helps many disadvanage students who are from low-income backgrounds succeed academically.

It has been hard for the poor, and who knows what will come next. There are many problems those individuals hold, as the article and many others have already commented on. There is also a psychological effect for those children too that tells them they cannot succeed which may or may not develop into a mental disorder.

http://www.radpsynet.org/journal/vol6-1/ramon.htm
http://www.camillushouse.org/camillus_resources/homelessness.php

9:49AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

This should open your eyes to how people in America are treated and considered sheep for the corporations to use at their disposal, including war. The Koch Klowns have demonstrated this by buying the school board to keep YOUR children stupid and ignorant. Smart and informed people don't make good slaves, they rebel too much.

6:05AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

You would think this would go far in dispelling the America "greatness" myth but I doubt these numbers will make any difference in how we approach poverty or our fellow citizens. The government and corporations have us right where they want us: fighting amongest ourselves when we're not busy surviving on what little we have left.

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Recent Comments from Causes

Alot of people could become slaves too, by crossing borders illegally without any documentation..

Would you like them to be able to sit back and put their feet up?! Not exactly punishment!!

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