1 in 5 U.S. kids lived in poverty in 2010

Nov. 17, 2011 at 6:05 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Census data suggest at least one in five U.S. children lived in poverty in 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

More than 15 million children -- 21.6 percent of all U.S. children 17 and younger -- lived in homes with incomes below the poverty threshold last year, the highest figure since the Census Bureau started tracking child poverty numbers in 2001.

Ten states -- Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia -- and the District of Columbia had child poverty rates of 25 percent or higher while New Hampshire had the lowest child poverty rate at 10 percent.

Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming had child poverty rates of 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent.

White and Asian children had poverty rates lower than the national average while black children had the highest poverty rate at 38.2 percent. The poverty rate for Hispanic children was 32.3 percent.

The Census Bureau report said children who live in poverty, especially young children, are more likely to have cognitive and behavioral difficulties, to complete fewer years of education and experience more years of unemployment as adults.

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