The poverty rate among children has soared to 22 percent since 2008, with three million more children living in poor conditions, according to new report released Tuesday.
The 2015 “KIDS COUNT” report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation said that the percentage of children living in poverty jumped from 18 percent in 2008, the year President Obama was elected, to 22 percent in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available. The report also noted that the rate dropped from 2012 to 2013, in line with the improving economy.
The report speaks to the uneven recovery and notes that minority children fare worse. The situation is dire in Southern states, it said.
“The child poverty rate among African Americans (39 percent) was more than double the rate for non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) in 2013.
The rate of child poverty for 2013 ranged from a low of 10 percent in New Hampshire, to a high of 34 percent in Mississippi.
[…] There are some worrisome economic indicators for families in the bottom half of the income scale, particularly African Americans and Latinos. Although new job growth has occurred at all wage levels, it has been disproportionate in low-wage sectors, such as retail and food services, and in some of the lower-wage positions within health care and home care. And, a stagnating federal minimum wage has exacerbated low wages.”
The report ranks states on overall child well-being, a composite index derived from combined data which considered four factors: economic well being; education; health; and family and community.
Florida ranked 37 out of all 50 states.
“The best way to facilitate optimal outcomes for today’s children is to address their needs, while providing tools and assistance to their parents,” the report concludes.
“Last fall, the Foundation released a report, Creating Opportunity for Families: A Two-Generation Approach, which outlined three critical strategies for strengthening whole families: Provide parents with multiple pathways to get family-supporting jobs and achieve financial stability. Ensure access to high-quality early childhood education and enriching elementary school experiences. Equip parents to better support their children socially and emotionally and to advocate for their kids’ education.”
See the full report HERE.