More than 20 percent of all children in the U.S. are living below the poverty line, according to an annual report’s latest estimates. This rate is the highest it has been in 20 years, which translates to 15.6 million children living in poverty, the 2010 Child and Youth Well-Being Index found.
The report issued additional grim predictions: 7.41 million children are living in “extreme poverty”—defined as less than 50 percent of the poverty line; about 20 million children have families without secure employment; the majority of these households don’t have secure sources of food; and some 500,000 children are homeless.
The report also predicts that poverty will continue to grow as a result of the hard economic times.
“Our research shows that conditions for children deteriorated through 2009 and are projected to bottom out in 2010,” stated lead author Kenneth C. Land, PhD, and his colleagues. “Families, schools, neighborhood and community organizations, and governments continue to cope with budget cuts and the loss of jobs, producing the anticipated ‘lag time’ in economic recovery.”
The report also pointed out that more African American andchildren, in particular, are living in poverty than are other ethnicities.
The report is based on a composite of 28 indicators of well-being, and funded by The Foundation for Child Development, a national, private philanthropy organization.