According to a new report, the child poverty rate in America increased by 18 percent between 2000 and 2009, which is essentially a return to the same level as the 1990s. This shows a significant decline in economic well-being for low-income children and families.
Released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in its annual KIDS COUNT Data Book, the report tracked 10 measures of child well-being, and found evidence of the recession’s impact on children — 11 percent of children had at least one unemployed parent, and 4 percent have been affected by foreclosure since 2007.
According to a press release, three areas of child well-being have worsened: the percentage of babies born with low birth-weight, the child poverty rate and the percentage of children living in single-parent families.
“In 2009, 42 percent of our nation’s children, or 31 million, lived in families with incomes below twice the federal poverty line or $43,512/year for a family of four, a minimum needed for most families to make ends meet,” said Laura Speer, associate director for Policy Reform and Data at the Foundation.
“The recent recession has wiped out many of the economic gains for children that occurred in the late 1990s. Nearly 8 million children lived with at least one parent who was actively seeking employment but was unemployed in 2010. This is double the number in 2007, just three years earlier. The news about the number of children who were affected by foreclosure in the United States is also very troubling because these economic challenges greatly hinder the well-being of families and the nation.”
However, according to the report, some areas have improved: the infant mortality rate, child death rate, teen death rate, teen birth rate and the percentage of teens not in school and not high school graduates.