The U.S. child poverty rate has reached 20 percent. Low income families, and as a result, low-income children, have experienced a significant decline in economic well-being in recent years. During the past decade, the number of children living in poverty has increased in 38 states.
In 48 states, the poverty line for a family of three in 2011 is set at $18,530 a year, and for a family of five it is $26,170 a year.
The recession, increased rate of housing foreclosures, and unemployment have all had a major impact on the rate of child poverty in this country, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization that focuses on disadvantaged children. The Casey Foundation publishes its report, Kids Count, annually.
In 2009, 42 percent of our nation's children, or 31 million, lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line, or $43,512 a year for a family of four, according to the associate director for Policy Reform and Data at the Casey Foundation, Laura Speer.
In a press release Speer wrote:
The recent recession has wiped out many of the economic gains for children that occurred in the late 1990s. Nearly 8 million children lived with at least one parent who was actively seeking employment but was unemployed in 2010. This is double the number in 2007, just three years earlier. The news about the number of children who were affected by foreclosure in the United States is also very troubling because these economic challenges greatly hinder the well-being of families and the nation.
Mississippi came in last in the Casey Foundation's ranking of best and worst states for children to live in, because it had the most children living in poverty. You can view child poverty data by state by clicking here.
Annual Kids Count Report Data Center [Annie E. Casey Foundation]
The 2011 HHS Poverty Guidelines [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services]
Report: Child poverty rate hits 20 percent in US as families struggle [Christian Science Monitor]