New Census Data Portrays Need for U.S. Child Poverty Action Group

Poverty & Family Economics

Children are 69% more likely to live in poverty than adults. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Children are 69% more likely to live in poverty than adults. (U.S. Census Bureau)

New Census data released today shows despite some progress from last year, 14.5 million children in the U.S., nearly one in five, continue to live below the federal poverty line. While anti-poverty programs have helped lift millions of children out of poverty, more must be done to give children a fair shot to succeed.

Children are 69 percent more likely to live in poverty than adults. They make up 23.1 percent of the U.S. population, but account for 33.6 percent of the population living in poverty.

Minority and young children, specifically, continue to experience higher rates of poverty than other age groups in our society. 32.9 percent of Black children, and 28.9 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared with 12.1 percent of white children who live in poverty. 21 percent of related children under 6 are living in poverty.

Poverty is a particularly serious problem for children, who suffer negative effects for the rest of their lives after living in poverty for even a short time. Beyond consequences for individual children, it negatively affects the entire nation through increased expenditures on criminal justice and healthcare and through lost revenue and economic output.

Yet while there are certainly some dedicated lawmakers, advocates and media outlets fighting for children across the country, there is no long-term national strategy, or even a national dialogue, to address child poverty and the negative outcomes associated with it. This results in a lack of accountability when the government fails to prioritize children time and again.

Therefore, amid this new data, a coalition of broad-based coalition of non-profit, child-focused organizations and individuals has formed the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), a similar iteration of a group that successfully lobbied for policies that cut child poverty by half in the United Kingdom in 2009.

The Child Poverty Action Group is comprised of a broad-based coalition of non-profit, child-focused organizations and individuals who are dedicated to working with national, state and local entities to adopt the overarching goal of cutting child poverty by half in 10 years and developing strategies and policies to achieve that goal.

We hope you will work with us to put children first and develop and implement policies that will have the biggest impact for our nation’s children. For more information and support the mission of the Child Poverty Action Group, visit www.childpovertyusa.org.

For more resources, take a look at the following reports published by First Focus: 


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