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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 27, 2008

Contact:
Sue Lin Chong / (410) 223-2836 / media@aecf.org

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New State and City-Level Child Poverty Rates and Rankings
Now Available on the KIDS COUNT Data Center

The Annie E Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center Online www.kidscount.org/datacenter has been updated to include poverty data from the 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) that was released on Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2007 ACS data show no significant change in the child poverty rate overall since 2006 holding at 18 percent, but this rate is still higher than in 2000 (17 percent). There are currently 13 million children in households with incomes below the poverty threshold in the United States. The KIDS COUNT analysis of the ACS data shows that there continues to be wide variation in child poverty rates across the states from a high of 29 percent in Mississippi to a low of 9 percent in New Hampshire.

New this year, the KIDS COUNT Data Center includes data from the ACS for 56 large cities across the United States. Of the 50 largest cities, those cities with the highest 2007 child poverty rates are:

The 2007 poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two children was $21,027. The Annie E. Casey Foundation has been a leader in urging a new federal standard to measure poverty in America, as the current rate fails to include key expenses as transportation to work, child care, and state and local taxes. In addition, the rate does not reflect benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, which many low-income families rely on to stay afloat.

On July 17, 2008, Douglas W. Nelson, president and CEO of the Casey Foundation, testified before the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support of the House Ways and Means Committee, stating that in order to solve the poverty challenge, legislators must grasp the true scope, dimension, and dynamics of the problem, and that changing the poverty measure would provide a more accurate statistical portrait of economically struggling Americans. To view the video from the hearing, visit http://spotlightonpoverty.com/congressional.aspx.

The KIDS COUNT Data Center contains maps and graphs of the latest data on poverty, health insurance coverage, and more than 100 other indicators of child well-being. The Data Center now allows users to import live maps and graphs directly to their own websites as well as down load static maps, graphs, and ranking tables for use in presentations and publications. Indicators based on the latest ACS and Current Poverty Estimates will be updated as data becomes available. Updates are compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau.

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.

The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. For more information, visit www.prb.org.