New Report About Children Living in Poverty

According to a new Child Trends research brief, Children in Poverty: Trends, Consequences, and Policy Options, using 2007 Census data to present a statistical portrait of children in poverty in the U.S., updating similar briefs Child Trends produced in 1999 and 2002.

Nearly one out of five children in the United States was living in poverty in 2007, and this percentage has been increasing since 2000.

Among the trends:
The poverty rate for children younger than 18 increased from 17.4 percent in 2006 to 18 percent in 2007, the highest rate since 1998. This 18 percent translates into 13.3 million children living in poverty in the U.S., an increase of 497,000 children between 2006 and 2007.

Children are almost twice as likely to be poor as older adults. In 2007, the poverty rate was 9.7 percent for people 65 and older, compared with 18 percent for children younger than 18.

Substantial racial disparities persist: black and Hispanic children were more than twice as likely to live in poverty in 2007 as non-Hispanic white and Asian children. 34.5 percent of black children and 28.6 percent of Hispanic children lived in poverty in 2007, compared with 10.1 percent of non-Hispanic white children and 12.5 percent of Asian children.
A large body of research exists which links poverty with lower levels of child well-being. Poor children are more likely than children from more affluent families to have low academic achievement, to drop out of school, and to have health, behavioral, and emotional problems.

It is interesting to note that this data was reported prior to the economic decline in the country.