A report released by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) on January 23 presents data on child poverty as well as measures of child well-being such as family structure and homelessness. The report, The State of America’s Children, shows 16.1 million children (21.8%) were poor in 2012, and 7.1 million children (9.7%) were extremely poor. A family of four is considered poor if annual income is below $23,492 and extremely poor if annual income falls below half that threshold. More than two-thirds of poor children live in families with at least one working family member.
Child poverty rates were highest in cities (29.1%) and in the South, where 42.1% of poor children live. Children in single-parent families were nearly four times more likely to be poor than children in married-couple families (45.5% and 11.1%). Nearly 1 in 3 children of color were poor. In six states (Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin), over half of black children were poor.
The report also shows a sharp increase in the number of public school students who are homeless, from approximately 673,000 students in 2006-2007 to over 1.2 million students in 2011-2012, a nearly 73% increase. Forty-one states saw increases in the number of homeless students from the 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 school year. Seventy-five percent of homeless students in 2011-2012 were living in doubled-up housing situations, while 15% lived in shelters and 6% lived in motels.
According to the report, government safety net programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), lifted 9 million children from poverty in 2012. Without government programs, child poverty would have been 57% higher and extreme childhood poverty would have been 240% higher in 2012.
View the report at: http://bit.ly/1e7uPMs