U.S. Child Poverty Rate Increases to 20% Says Kid Count Study

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August 17, 2011; Source: Christian Science Monitor | The Annie E. Casey Foundation released their most recent Kids Count Study on Wednesday and the findings on child poverty rates are deeply disturbing, though probably unsurprising to most of you. Across the nation, child poverty grew by 18 percent over the last decade and the rate now stands at 20 percent. This means that one of every five children in the U.S.—15 million in all—lives in poverty.

Thirty-eight states saw their child poverty rates increase. Child poverty is not evenly distributed geographically. New Hampshire, at 11 percent, and Minnesota, at 14 percent, posted the lowest child-poverty rates, while the highest levels were seen in Alabama at 25 percent, Louisiana at 24 percent, and Mississippi at 31 percent. The rise in child poverty nationwide reverses gains that were seen in the early 1990s, according to Patrick McCarthy, the foundation’s CEO. Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Delinquency Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau among other sources was used to compile the study.—Ruth McCambridge