A new report on child poverty by the research organization Child Trends makes for disturbing reading. Its findings—among them that child poverty has been on the rise since 2000—are especially ominous in the current economic crisis.
If nearly one in five U.S. children were poor in 2007, and 8 percent were in deep poverty (below 50 percent of the poverty level), how many more children are now suffering all the consequences of poverty documented in the report?
Another disturbing--and intriguing--finding in the report is that even as child poverty deepened, families grew less likely to use the social safety net programs for which they were eligible.
The compilation of data, based on 2007 Census figures, provides a good overview of recent national trends in child poverty. However, the solutions Child Trends advocates are tepid.
The recently released State of Washington’s Children report from Washington Kids Count offers a more detailed analysis of state-level policies to fight child poverty. For more warnings about what the economic downturn may mean for children, go to the Center for Budget and Policy Priority’s page on poverty and see especially the graphs about children at the bottom of the page.
-by Carolyn McConnell