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The Poorest Americans are Children and the Poorest Children are Black, Hispanic and Under Six

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In 24 States 40 Percent or More of Black Children are Poor

In 39 States 30 Percent or more of Hispanic Children are Poor

In 24 States 25 Percent or More Children Under Six are Poor

In 43 States Child Poverty Rates Remain Significantly Higher Than They Were Before the Recession

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Children's Defense Fund's analysis of new state data released by the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that child poverty rates remain at record highs and Black, Hispanic and children under six suffer the most. Only two states (Texas and Illinois) experienced significant decreases from 2011. Child poverty rates actually increased in three states (New Hampshire, Mississippi and California) and remained at 2011 levels for the remaining 45 states.

"Children's ability to survive, thrive and develop must not depend on the lottery of geography of birth. A child is a child and should be protected by a national floor of decency. We can and must end child poverty. It's about values. It's about priorities. It's about who we are as Americans. The greatest threat to America's national security comes from no foreign enemy but from our failure to invest in healthy and educated children," said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund.

"All Americans including those in Congress have to recognize that Black and Hispanic children already are a majority of our babies and are the face of our future. We need them to be productive. Every year we keep over 16 million children in poverty we are losing hundreds of billions of dollars. Children did not cause the recession and they should not have to suffer from the recklessness of others. If we want to build a strong workforce and military and to stand for the basic tenets of justice for the most voiceless in our midst, we must end child poverty. How is it possible when millions of children are poor, Congress could for one minute consider cutting their food assistance," asked Edelman referring to a proposal in the House of Representatives to cut SNAP by about $40 billion over the next ten years. 

The states with child poverty rates 25 percent or higher are:

  • Mississippi: 34.7
  • New Mexico:  29.3
  • Arkansas:  28.5
  • Louisiana:  28.1
  • Alabama:  27.5
  • Georgia: 27.2
  • Arizona: 27.0
  • South Carolina: 26.9
  • Kentucky: 26.5
  • North Carolina: 26.0
  • Texas: 25.8
  • Tennessee: 25.8
  • Florida:  25.4

Poverty is defined as an annual income below $23,492 for the average family of four—$1,958 a month, $452 a week, or $64 a day. Extreme poverty is defined as an annual income of less than half of the poverty level or $11,746 a year, $979 a month, $226 a week, or $32 a day for the average family of four.

The Children's Defense Fund Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

For More Information Contact:
Raymonde Charles, Press Secretary
202-662-3508 (office)
rcharles@childrensdefense.org

Children's Defense Fund

2012 Child Poverty Data based on the 2012 American Community Survey

September 18. 2013

Only 4 states saw statistically significant changes compared to 2011, and 43 states have rates that remain statistically significantly higher than in 2007:


2012 Child Poverty Rate (%)

2011 Child Poverty Rate (%)

Absolute Change in Poverty Rate 2011 to 2012

Relative Change in the Poverty Rate 2011 to 2012

Statistically Significant Change?

2007 Child Poverty Rate (%)

Absolute Change in Poverty Rate 2007 to 2012

Relative Change in the Poverty Rate 2007 to 2012

Statistically Significant Change?

Alabama

27.5

27.6

-0.1

-0.4


24.3

3.2

13.2

Y

Alaska

13.9

14.5

-0.6

-4.1


11.5

2.4

20.9

Y

Arizona

27

27.2

-0.2

-0.7


20.2

6.8

33.7

Y

Arkansas

28.5

28.1

0.4

1.4


25.8

2.7

10.5

Y

California

23.8

22.8

1.0

4.4

Y

17.3

6.5

37.6

Y

Colorado

18.5

17.9

0.6

3.4


16.3

2.2

13.5

Y

Connecticut

14.8

14.9

-0.1

-0.7


11.1

3.7

33.3

Y

Delaware

17.4

17.5

-0.1

-0.6


14.7

2.7

18.4


District of Columbia

26.5

30.3

-3.8

-12.5


22.7

3.8

16.7


Florida

25.4

24.9

0.5

2.0


17.1

8.3

48.5

Y

Georgia

27.2

26.3

0.9

3.4


19.7

7.5

38.1

Y

Hawaii

17.1

17

0.1

0.6


9.8

7.3

74.5

Y

Idaho

20.7

20.4

0.3

1.5


15.9

4.8

30.2

Y

Illinois

20.7

21.6

-0.9

-4.2

Y

16.6

4.1

24.7

Y

Indiana

22.4

23

-0.6

-2.6


17.3

5.1

29.5

Y

Iowa

15.9

17.3

-1.4

-8.1


13.6

2.3

16.9

Y

Kansas

19

18.8

0.2

1.1


14.6

4.4

30.1

Y

Kentucky

26.5

27.4

-0.9

-3.3


23.9

2.6

10.9

Y

Louisiana

28.1

28.8

-0.7

-2.4


26.8

1.3

4.9


Maine

20.9

18.8

2.1

11.2


15.4

5.5

35.7

Y

Maryland

13.8

13.5

0.3

2.2


10.5

3.3

31.4

Y

Massachusetts

15.4

15.2

0.2

1.3


12.9

2.5

19.4

Y

Michigan

24.9

24.8

0.1

0.4


19.4

5.5

28.4

Y

Minnesota

14.6

15.4

-0.8

-5.2


12

2.6

21.7

Y

Mississippi

34.7

31.8

2.9

9.1

Y

29.3

5.4

18.4

Y

Missouri

22.6

22.1

0.5

2.3


17.7

4.9

27.7

Y

Montana

20.3

19.7

0.6

3.0


18.3

2.0

10.9


Nebraska

17.9

18.1

-0.2

-1.1


14.9

3.0

20.1

Y

Nevada

24

22.1

1.9

8.6


15.3

8.7

56.9

Y

New Hampshire

15.6

12

3.6

30.0

Y

8.8

6.8

77.3

Y

New Jersey

15.4

14.7

0.7

4.8


11.6

3.8

32.8

Y

New Mexico

29.3

30.7

-1.4

-4.6


25.5

3.8

14.9

Y

New York

22.8

22.6

0.2

0.9


19.4

3.4

17.5

Y

North Carolina

26

25.6

0.4

1.6


19.5

6.5

33.3

Y

North Dakota

13.2

14.6

-1.4

-9.6


13.4

-0.2

-1.5


Ohio

23.8

24.2

-0.4

-1.7


18.5

5.3

28.6

Y

Oklahoma

24.1

23.4

0.7

3.0


22.5

1.6

7.1

Y

Oregon

23

23.6

-0.6

-2.5


16.9

6.1

36.1

Y

Pennsylvania

19.7

19.6

0.1

0.5


16.3

3.4

20.9

Y

Rhode Island

19.5

21.9

-2.4

-11.0


17.5

2.0

11.4


South Carolina

26.9

27.8

-0.9

-3.2


20.9

6.0

28.7

Y

South Dakota

17.5

18.2

-0.7

-3.8


16.8

0.7

4.2


Tennessee

25.8

26.3

-0.5

-1.9


23

2.8

12.2

Y

Texas

25.8

26.6

-0.8

-3.0

Y

23.2

2.6

11.2

Y

Utah

15.1

15.9

-0.8

-5.0


11

4.1

37.3

Y

Vermont

15.5

14.9

0.6

4.0


12.4

3.1

25.0

Y

Virginia

15.3

15.3

0.0

0.0


13

2.3

17.7

Y

Washington

18.5

18.3

0.2

1.1


15

3.5

23.3

Y

West Virginia

24.6

25.8

-1.2

-4.7


22.8

1.8

7.9


Wisconsin

18.2

18.2

0.0

0.0


14.4

3.8

26.4

Y

Wyoming

16.9

15.6

1.3

8.3


11.6

5.3

45.7

Y

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. 2007, 2011 and 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, Table GCT1704. Accessed via American FactFinder 2: http://factfinder2.census.gov. Additional calculations by the Children's Defense Fund. Statistical significance is at 90% confidence level.

In 24 states, 40 percent or more of the Black children were poor

State

Number of Poor
Children (2012)

Child Poverty Rate
(2012)

Poverty Rate Rank
(2012)

Kentucky

46,820

52.0

45

Oregon

9,815

51.7

44

Mississippi

167,297

51.6

43

Michigan

183,937

51.0

42

Wisconsin

56,228

50.2

41

Ohio

189,153

50.1

40

West Virginia

7,150

49.4

39

South Dakota

2,214

47.8

38

Nebraska

12,714

47.1

37

Arkansas

61,838

46.7

36

Louisiana

192,417

46.4

35

Minnesota

43,417

46.1

34

Alabama

152,775

45.7

33

Indiana

77,859

45.5

32

Missouri

82,494

45.2

31

Iowa

12,562

44.7

30

Illinois

213,235

44.6

29

Tennessee

125,391

42.4

28

Oklahoma

29,895

41.8

27

South Carolina

140,579

41.7

26

Colorado

25,123

41.1

24

Maine

1,655

41.1

24

North Carolina

217,736

40.9

23

Florida

335,424

40.4

22

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. "2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates," Table B17020B. Accessed via FactFinder2. Additional calculations by the Children's Defense Fund.

In 39 states, 30 percent or more of Hispanic children were poor


Number of Poor
Children (2012)

Child Poverty Rate
(2012)

Child Poverty
Rate Rank (2012)

Tennessee

53,601

46.2

50

Alabama

31,709

44.8

49

Mississippi

11,845

43.6

47

North Carolina

140,983

43.6

47

Georgia

144,097

43.1

46

Pennsylvania

115,570

42.4

45

Rhode Island

19,638

42.0

44

South Carolina

36,144

41.6

43

Kentucky

19,654

41.0

42

Arkansas

32,223

40.9

41

Montana

4,238

39.7

40

New Hampshire

5,588

39.1

39

Ohio

53,286

38.9

38

Indiana

60,307

38.6

37

Massachusetts

82,124

38.2

36

Missouri

30,279

37.7

35

Oklahoma

51,756

37.5

34

Arizona

259,642

37.4

33

Oregon

67,610

37.2

32

Utah

53,934

36.9

31

Idaho

26,383

36.2

30

Wisconsin

49,505

35.9

29

Maine

2,241

35.4

27

Michigan

60,352

35.4

27

Texas

1,187,019

35.1

26

New York

341,343

35.0

25

Connecticut

56,750

34.6

23

Washington

106,514

34.6

23

New Mexico

101,708

34.1

22

South Dakota

3,173

33.3

21

Kansas

40,754

33.0

20

Nebraska

23,121

32.5

19

California

1,503,860

32.0

18

Nevada

84,136

31.9

17

Delaware

8,993

31.6

16

Colorado

117,791

31.4

15

Florida

350,407

31.1

14

Iowa

20,094

30.9

13

Minnesota

32,096

30.4

12

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. "2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates," Table B17020I. Accessed via FactFinder2. Additional calculations by the Children's Defense Fund.  

In 24 states, more than 25 percent of (or one in four) children under six lived in poverty


Number of Poor
Children (2012)

Child Poverty
Rate (2012)

Child Poverty
Rate Rank (2012)

Mississippi

95,424

39.0

50

New Mexico

57,298

33.5

49

Alabama

115,760

32.2

48

South Carolina

110,774

31.5

47

Arkansas

71,618

31.5

46

Georgia

250,258

31.0

45

Kentucky

101,191

30.6

44

Louisiana

111,786

30.3

43

Arizona

157,028

30.2

42

North Carolina

220,452

29.9

41

Michigan

195,679

29.0

40

Tennessee

138,723

28.9

39

Texas

660,536

28.7

38

Florida

362,801

28.4

37

Ohio

235,210

28.3

36

West Virginia

34,777

27.9

35

Oklahoma

85,579

27.7

34

Oregon

74,892

27.1

33

Indiana

137,076

27.0

32

Missouri

119,940

27.0

31

Nevada

59,664

27.0

30

Maine

20,670

26.0

29

California

760,003

25.3

28

New York

346,565

25.3

27

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2013. "2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates," Table B17001. Accessed via FactFinder2. Additional calculations by the Children's Defense Fund.

SOURCE Children's Defense Fund



RELATED LINKS
http://www.childrensdefense.org

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