One Million Additional Children in Poverty Since 2009: 2010 Data Reveal Nearly One in Four Southern Children Now Live in Poverty

Source: Jessica A. Bean, Marybeth J. Mattingly, Andrew Schaefer, Issue Brief, Publication Number: 37, September 22, 2011

From the abstract:
American Community Survey (ACS) data released on September 22, 2011 allow for a detailed look at child poverty by state and place, adding to the understanding of the economic landscape described by the Current Population Survey (CPS) data released last week. While the CPS data are useful for providing a snapshot of poverty across the nation, the larger sample size of the ACS–three million addresses versus 100,000 addresses in the CPS–makes it better suited for nuanced analyses of poverty. In this brief, the authors use the ACS data released on September 22 to focus on child poverty. The authors report that between 2009 and 2010 an additional one million children joined the ranks of those in poverty. This brings the total to an estimated 15.7 million poor children in 2010, an increase of 2.6 million since the Great Recession began in 2007. Of the 15.7 million poor children in 2010, 5.9 million are young (under age 6), an increase of 220,000 over one year. Across the United States, rural, suburban, and central city areas all realized significant increases in child poverty between 2009 and 2010 and since the recent recession began in 2007. Congressional concerns over the federal debt have already resulted in an agreement that will force significant cuts to domestic spending, including many programs that serve children and families. The authors stress that, although budget cuts are unavoidable, policy makers should carefully consider how cuts are distributed, keeping America’s most vulnerable families in mind as the effects of the recession reverberate, as demonstrated by high child poverty rates.

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