Almost 1-in-4 U.S. children lived in poverty 2012, same as '11

Oct. 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM
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DURHAM, N.H., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Almost 1-in-4 U.S. children lived in poverty in 2012, not statistically different from 2011 despite improvements in the economy, researchers say.

Beth Mattingly of the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire and research assistant professor of sociology; Jessica Carson, a research scientist at the Carsey Institute; and Andrew Schaefer, a doctoral student in sociology and a research assistant at the Carsey Institute said the state of New Hampshire experienced the largest increase in child poverty of any state in the country from 2011-12.

New Hampshire had the lowest U.S. child poverty for more than a decade, but in only one year, New Hampshire's child poverty rate increased from 12 percent in 2011 to 15.6 percent in 2012 -- a 30 percent increase, while from 2007-12 the state's child poverty rate increased more than 75 percent.

Nationwide, 16.4 million children live in poverty; 6 million are age 6 and younger. In 2007, before the toll of the Great Recession, 13.1 million children, or 18 percent were living in poverty nationally.

"These new estimates suggest that child poverty plateaued in the aftermath of the Great Recession but has not yet begun to fall as we enter the fourth year of 'recovery,'" the researchers said.

"While modest improvements are evident in some places, increases in others raise concerns about the well-being of America's children."

This analysis is based on data from the 2007, 2011 and 2012 American Community Survey.

The federal poverty definition in 2012 for a family of four -- two adults, two children -- was $23,283.

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