Child Poverty 2008-2009Statistics released last fall by the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that in 2008, nearly one in five children under the age of 18 lived in poverty. Experts acknowledge that this statistic does not capture the full impact of the economic downturn, which will drive 2009 poverty numbers even higher.

The study, entitled “The Effects of the Recession on Child Poverty,” seeks to better understand how the recession is impacting children and families. It finds that that between August 2008 and August 2009, the number of people receiving SNAP benefits increased by 7 million, or 24 percent. This drastic increase means that roughly 3.4 million more children were receiving SNAP benefits in August 2009, as compared to a year earlier.

The report also provides an initial glance at what parts of the nation are experiencing the most dramatic growth in economic need among families with children, and where the largest increases in child poverty have occurred during 2009.