In its first data snapshot of the year, the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT explores the increased number of children living in America’s high-poverty communities. The new snapshot includes the latest concentrated-poverty data for states and for the 50 largest cities, as does the KIDS COUNT Data Center, a source for the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being.
The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) show that about 8,000, or 3 percent, of Maine’s children are growing up in areas where at least 30 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level — about $22,000 per year for a family of four. Maine kids can’t realize their full potential without the support of strong families and communities. Yet, research shows that children who live in areas of concentrated poverty are less likely to succeed in school and beyond. Students in low-income schools have lower test scores than those who attend high-income schools, regardless of family income. Check out the new KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot on High Poverty Communities by clicking on the photo below.
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE until 12:01 a.m. EST February 23, 2012
Contact: Sue Lin Chong | 410-223-2836 | firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: This updated release includes a correction in paragraph four.
Children Living in High-Poverty Communities Surged 25 Percent Over Last Decade
Kids in the South and Southwest, Minorities, Most Likely to Live in Disadvantaged Areas
BALTIMORE — Nearly 8 million of America’s children live in high-poverty areas — about 1.6 million more since 2000 — according to a new KIDS COUNT® Data Snapshot from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) show that about 7.9 million, or 11 percent, of the nation’s children are growing up in areas where at least 30 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level — about $22,000 per year for a family of four. In 2000, 6.3 million kids, or 9 percent, were living in such communities, which often lack access to resources that are critical to healthy growth and development, including quality education, medical care and safe outdoor spaces.
“Kids in these high-poverty areas are at risk for health and developmental challenges in almost every aspect of their lives, from education to their chances for economic success as adults,” said Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and data at the Casey Foundation. “Transforming disadvantaged communities into better places to raise children is vital to ensuring the next generation and their families realize their potential.”
The snapshot also indicates that about 75 percent of children in areas of concentrated poverty have at least one parent in the labor force.
According to the ACS, almost all states saw the number of children in high-poverty neighborhoods climb. States with the highest rates were Mississippi (23 percent), New Mexico (20 percent), Louisiana (18 percent), Texas (17 percent) and Arizona (16 percent). Although the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw their rates decline over the same period, they continue to have higher rates — 32 and 83 percent, respectively — than any state in the country.
The data also highlight the children most likely to live in areas of concentrated poverty. These include youth in the south and southwest, as well as those in urban and rural areas. African-American, American Indian and Latino children are six to nine times more likely to live in high-poverty communities than their white counterparts.
The new numbers parallel data released in the 2011 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which indicated a significant jump in child poverty over the last decade, as well as an increase in kids living in low-income families.
The new snapshot includes the latest data for states and for the 50 largest cities. This information will be available Feb. 23 at 12:01 a.m. in the KIDS COUNT Data Center, which also contains the most recent national, state and local data on hundreds of indicators of child well-being. The Data Center allows users to create rankings, maps and graphs for use in publications and on websites, and to view real-time information on mobile devices.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization whose primary mission is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. For more information, visit www.aecf.org. KIDS COUNT® is a registered trademark of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.