Facebook Pixel

Twenty Percent of American Children Live in Poverty

By HERWriter Guide
Rate This
Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

I was watching The Real Housewives of New York (purely for research purposes!) and heard one or two of them lamenting the poverty in Morocco while vacationing there. While Morocco does have worrisome poverty levels, these self-professed educated and well-traveled women seemed completely oblivious to the fact that a mere mile or two from their own mansions and luxury condos in America live children who also live at or below the poverty line. I sat, talking aloud to the TV, asking them if they knew what was going on in their own neighborhoods.

Tuning into NPR today, I listened to a news program that talked about the more recent official numbers of children in America who live in poverty. The number is frightening. Twenty percent of children -- one in every five -- are living in poverty in what's considered the most powerful nation on earth.

The study, released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that one in five kids in America was living in poverty in 2009. One of the main reasons for child poverty is lack of parental employment, the study found. And this has been growing steadily since 2009, making future numbers sure to be similar. The number of poverty-stricken children has gained in 38 states with Nevada having the highest number of children coming from foreclosed homes (a rather shocking 13 percent). Children living in Nevada also have the greatest chance of having an unemployed parent. The study also showed that black children are twice as likely to live in poverty as white children.

Mississippi remains the poorest state in the country. It has been this way for the past decade. Southern states in America are generally poorer than their northern counterparts.

On the flip side, kids fared best in New Hampshire, followed by Minnesota, Massachusetts and Vermont.

For more information on this study, check out the Annie E. Casey Foundation here:


Edited by Jody Smith

Tell Us
Have you experienced living in poverty in America? Were you aware of the poverty levels listed above? Let us know your opinions!

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.