Gains in Reducing Child Poverty, but Racial-Ethnic Disparities Persist

Source: Jessica Carson, Beth Mattingly, Andrew Schaefer, University of New Hampshire, Carsey School of Public Policy, National Issue Brief #118, Spring 2017

From the summary:
In 2015, for the second year in a row, child poverty rates declined in the United States. However, familiar patterns in levels and characteristics of child poverty persist: more than one in five children are poor; children of color are at disproportionate risk for poverty; and rates are highest in the South and West and in rural areas and cities (Table 1).

This brief uses data from the American Community Survey to investigate patterns of child poverty across race-ethnicities and across regions and place types. We also explore changes in child poverty rates since 2014 and since the end of the Great Recession in 2009. The estimates presented in this brief are based on the official poverty measure (see Box 1 on page 3). Native Americans, Alaskan and Hawaiian natives, and those reporting multiple racial-ethnic backgrounds are excluded from this update because such samples are too small for meaningful analyses.

Key Findings:
– Between 2014 and 2015, child poverty fell for all race-ethnicities except Asians.
– The largest declines in child poverty occurred among blacks and Hispanics, and the poverty gap between them and white and Asian children narrowed.
– Black child poverty rates dropped in cities, suburbs, and rural places; for children of all other race-ethnicities, rural rates remained stable.
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