About 22% of children in the U.S. lived below the poverty line in 2013, compared with 18% in 2008, the foundation’s 2015 Kids Count Data Book reported. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Human and Health Service’s official poverty line was $23,624 for a family with two adults and two children.
“The fact that it’s happening is disturbing on lots of levels,” said Laura Speer, the associate director for policy reform and advocacy at the Casey Foundation, a non-profit based in Baltimore. “Those kids often don’t have the access to the things they need to thrive.” The foundation says its mission is to help low-income children in the U.S. by providing grants and advocating for policies that promote economic opportunity.
The report examined data from several federal agencies ranging from 2008 to 2013 to assess state-by-state trends of 16 factors of children’s well-being, including economics, education, health and family and community. It found that one in four children — a total of 18.7 million kids — lived in low-income households in 2013; low-income families were defined as those who use more than 30% of their pre-tax income for housing.
However, the numbers are from 2013, and Speer said the outcome may be different now that the unemployment rate has lowered to 5.3%; it was 7.5% in June 2013. Speer said more employed parents would naturally lead to fewer impoverished kids, but she doubted it would change the number of children in low-income neighborhoods. (Read more from “More Children Living in Poverty Now Than During Recession” HERE)