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More American families with children live in poverty

More American families with children live in poverty

The official child poverty rate grew by 18 percent and poverty levels for families with children increased in 38 states, according to a new study.

The Christian Science Monitor reports:

In the United States as a whole, nearly 15 million children (20 percent) live in poverty. A broader definition of economic straits – $43,512 a year, or twice the federal poverty line for a family of four, “a minimum needed for most families to make ends meet,” as Speer puts it – includes 31 million children, or 42 percent of the total.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, low-income rates for young children are higher than those for older children – 43 percent of children under age six live in low-income families, compared with 37 percent of children over age six.

But the problem is not evenly distributed. New Hampshire (11 percent), Minnesota (14 percent), and Massachusetts (13 percent) have the least child poverty, while Alabama (25 percent), Louisiana (24 percent), and Mississippi (31 percent) have the most.

With record high unemployment (12.1 percent) and home foreclosure rates, Nevada saw a 38 percent increase in child poverty over the past decade. Foreclosures have affected the lives of 13 percent of the children in Nevada (the highest such rate in the US), and about one-third of all Nevada children were in families where neither parent had full-time work in 2009.


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