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For Immediate Release
September 23, 2011
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Washington, D.C.—New state by state poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau brings more bad news for children. In 2010, over a million more children fell into poverty, over half a million more into extreme poverty. Nearly all states saw increases in poverty for children under six—the most critical years for brain development. The number of poor newborns to kindergartners increased in 43 states in 2010.
Children of color were disproportionately poor:
Based on the national poverty data from the Census Bureau released last week:
“Is this the best America can do?” Children’s Defense Fund president, Marian Wright Edelman, asked. “Is this the reflection of our values as a nation? These child poverty statistics are morally and economically indefensible. The toxic cocktail of poverty, family joblessness and stress, food insecurity, lost homes and growing hopelessness are a national human disaster requiring the most urgent response from our political and business leaders in every party and place. Children deserve more than intransigent political grandstanding. They need shoes to protect exposed toes from the cold. Shame on those who seek to rip out more threads from our rich nation’s tattered safety net while protecting tax cuts for millionaires. Skyler and Zachary and Jordan McKee and the millions of children like them deserve more from our country.”
The McKee family lives in Michigan’s sixth congressional district, represented by Super Committee member Representative Fred Upton. One in four children in this district was poor in 2010, an increase of 17 percent in one year. Nearly 10 percent of the children living in the district were extremely poor.