Child Poverty


For Immediate Release
August 29, 2007


For More Information Contact:
Ed Shelleby
(202) 662-3602


WASHINGTON, DC — According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau yesterday, 12.8 million children in America — or 17.4 percent — lived in poverty in 2006. Child poverty remained stagnant last year while poverty declined for the general population. However, today there are 1.2 million more children living in poverty than there were in 2000.

“It is a moral outrage that in the wealthiest nation on earth there are still 12.8 million children living in poverty—5.5 million of them in extreme poverty,” said Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman. “We must make it a national priority to protect the most vulnerable among us by lifting these children out of poverty and ensuring they have a fair start in life. After what the Bush Administration has touted as five years of economic recovery, it is inexcusable that 12.8 million children are forced to suffer through hardship every day.”

The Census Bureau also reported the following disturbing details on child poverty, defined as annual income below $20,444 for a 4-person family with 2 children:

  • Extreme poverty: In 2006, 5.5 million children lived in extreme poverty defined as annual income below $10,222 for a 4-person family with 2 children.
  • Race: Racial disparities continue to be considerable, with minority children substantially more likely to live in poverty:
  • 3.8 million Black children live in poverty — one in three Black children.
  • 4 million Latino children live in poverty — almost one in four Latino children.
  • 4.2 million White children live in poverty — one in 10 White children.
  • Young children: Children under the age of 5 remain more likely to be poor than older children.
  • In 2006, 4.2 million young children lived in poverty — 1 out of every 5 toddlers.

For more information about child poverty in America, visit the Children’s Defense Fund’s website at