As congressional Republicans continue their crusade to drastically cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, they remain blissfully ignorant of the extent to which children in the country are affected by poverty as they also try to cut or end social safety net programs.
A recent report from the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) says that researchers have found that nearly one-third of children in the nations largest cities live in poverty.
“Many Americans—even policymakers—seem unaware of the shocking prevalence of child poverty in many of our nation’s most important and iconic cities,” said Curtis Skinner, director of Family Economic Security at NCCP. “Reducing child poverty is critical to the social and economic health of cities, now and in the future.”
While the overall poverty rate for children fell by two percentage points between 2012 and 2013, in large cities the decrease was only one percentage point. In eight of the 25 U.S. cities experiencing the greatest increases in childhood poverty since 2007, the number of children living in poverty has increased by more than 10 percent. Leading the pack in childhood poverty are Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo where more than half of children live in poverty. Fresno, California saw the greatest increase at 15.9 percent and came in at number 4 on the list of cities with the most children living in poverty at 47.9 percent.
The reasons for the sharp increase in children affected by poverty vary from one area to another. In Detroit and Cleveland, like many industrial cities the loss of manufacturing jobs is a major contributor to increased poverty rates while in other cities such as Las Vegas and several cities in California, it was the collapse of the housing market with the attendant loss of construction jobs that was a major contributor to increased poverty rates.
A 2010 study by The Urban Institute reported that children who experience childhood poverty tend to cycle into and out their entire lives, with those who experience persistent rates as children more likely to stay in poverty most of their lives.
That same study found that black children are about 2.5 times more likely to experience poverty at some point and 7 times more likely experience persistent poverty.
A 2007 report from The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that poverty can have a lifelong impact on health as well. The report found that children in low-income families and neighborhoods not only tend to have poorer health outcomes as children, but continue to suffer from poorer health for the rest of their lives.
While it may seem that poverty only impacts those who experience it the fact is that poverty has much more widespread effects negatively impacting the entire nation and any steps taken to mitigate poverty is beneficial to all of us.
h/t: Raw Story