Even in relatively good economic times, the United States has an appallingly high rate of child poverty for a very rich country. In 2007, by international comparative standards*, UNICEF found that the United States had the highest rate of child poverty of 24 OECD nations. The poverty data released today shows the worsening living standards for America’s children caused by the recession.
Overall, the U.S. poverty rate for American children increased 4 percentage points from 2007 to 22.0% in 2010. African American children continue to have the highest rate of poverty at 39.1%. Hispanic children have the second highest rate at 35%. However, as the figure shows, Hispanic children have experienced the largest increase in child poverty since the start of the recession. Black children have had the second largest increase.
The economic distress of families hurts children and undermines their future. Only by putting their parents to work in good jobs can we lay the foundation for a prosperous future for our children.
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*In the UNICEF comparison, a poor household is one that earns less than 50% of the median household income.