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This primer on child poverty provides information on the definition of poverty; basic facts about child poverty; how poverty affects children's health, food security, early development, home and family environment, education, and crime; the economic and social costs of child poverty; and public programs that combat child poverty.
Too many U.S. children have to face challenges like hunger, homelessness, instability and toxic stress. Every fifth U.S. child lives below the poverty line — in families trying to make do on less than $8 a person a day before most government safety net supports are counted. Even after government benefits, the U.S. has the second highest child poverty rate among 35 advanced economies.
The U.S. Census Bureau released new poverty data for the states that show families still struggling in the wake of the Great Recession. There were statistically significant increases in the rates of child poverty between 2010 and 2011 in 14 states, and slight increases in 26 others. Only nine states and the District of Columbia saw some small decline in their rates of children living in poverty in 2011. In South Dakota, the rate did not change.
2013 Child Poverty in the States by Age and Race/Ethnicity
2008 Federal Poverty Guidelines - Alaska
The Children’s Defense Fund’s Cradle to Prison Pipeline® Campaign is a national and community crusade to engage families, youths, communities and policy makers in the development of healthy, safe and educated children. Poverty, racial disparities and a culture of punishment rather than prevention and early intervention are key forces driving the Pipeline.
Children Living in Extreme Poverty, 2009 and 2010
Millions of children and families fell into poverty in 2009 due to the economic downturn, jeopardizing the promise of a productive future for them and for our nation.
Reducing Child Poverty in the US: Costs and Impacts of Policies Proposed by the Children’s Defense Fund Linda Giannarelli, Kye Lippold, Sarah Minton, and Laura Wheaton
Child Poverty, by Age, 2010