Reuters, By Anna Louie Sussman

Federal spending on children has fallen for the first time in three decades, at a time when more than one in five U.S. children are already living in poverty, according to a report released on Thursday.

Even as total government spending rose in 2011, outlays and tax expenditures on children took a hit, said the sixth annual “Kids’ Share” report by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.-based social and economic policy organization.

Another 4 percent decline in overall spending on children is expected in 2012 as the temporary boost from stimulus funds falls by $30 billion. Without legislative action, the amount spent on children will remain unchanged over the next decade, but will shrink to 8 percent of the overall budget.

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