Millions of Children Living in High-Poverty Areas

Posted July 21, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog millionsofchildrenlivinginhighpoverty 2015

The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book reports that 14% of chil­dren — 10.1 mil­lion total — are now liv­ing in areas of con­cen­trat­ed poverty. 

These num­bers rep­re­sent an unset­tling trend: An increase of near­ly 4 mil­lion more chil­dren liv­ing in high-pover­ty areas since 2000

State-by-state, the per­cent­age of chil­dren liv­ing in high pover­ty varies wide­ly. For instance: Just 1% of chil­dren in Ver­mont live in areas of con­cen­trat­ed pover­ty. In Mis­sis­sip­pi, this rate hits 27%.

The KIDS COUNT Data Book also reveals that black, Amer­i­can Indi­an and Lati­no chil­dren are much more like­ly to live in high-pover­ty areas rel­a­tive to peers from oth­er racial and eth­nic groups. 

This is huge — and here’s why. 

Research tells us that: 

  • Com­pared to chil­dren liv­ing in wealth­i­er areas, chil­dren grow­ing up in high-pover­ty neigh­bor­hoods are much less like­ly to have access to high-qual­i­ty schools and safe places to play that can help them thrive.
  • Con­cen­trat­ed pover­ty puts whole neigh­bor­hoods at risk. Rel­a­tive to their more afflu­ent coun­ter­parts, high-pover­ty com­mu­ni­ties are much more like­ly to have high rates of crime and vio­lence, unem­ploy­ment and oth­er problems.

Ready to help give America’s most frag­ile fam­i­lies and chil­dren a bet­ter future? Check out the 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book to get started.

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