|Overall and Persistent US Child Poverty|
|Living - Society|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Wednesday, 19 October 2011 08:00|
Durham, NH, USA. In the United States, there are more poor kids in more poor places. Persistent high poverty is most prevalent among children, with those living in rural America disproportionally impacted.
Nearly 22 percent of America's children live in poverty, compared with 14 percent of the total population. Poverty is scattered and geographically concentrated, and it ebbs and flows with economic cycles. However, in some parts of the country, poverty has persisted for generations.
The research was conducted by Ken Johnson, senior demographer at the Carsey Institute and a professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and colleagues Beth Mattingly, director of research on vulnerable families at the Carsey Institute and research assistant professor of sociology at UNH; and Andrew Schaefer, a doctoral student in sociology at UNH and research assistant at the Carsey Institute.
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Overall and Persistent Child Poverty, 1980-2009
This analysis is based upon decennial census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, as well as American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates released in 2009.
● High child poverty is 20 percent or more of the children living in poverty in a county.
● Persistent child poverty is high poverty rates in three consecutive decades: 1980, 1990, 2000, as well as 2009.
Demographic data for each county are from the U.S. Census Bureau's USA Counties Data Files.
Graphic courtesy of the Carsey Institute.Areas with persistent high child poverty are defined as places where child poverty rates have been greater than 20 percent at the start of each decade since 1980.
The key findings include:
The researchers found a clear distribution of evident high child poverty:
"The problems that all poor people struggle with are often exacerbated by the isolation and lack of support services in rural areas," the researchers said.
AuthorsMarybeth J. Mattingly is director of research on vulnerable families at the Carsey Institute and a research assistant professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).
Kenneth M. Johnson is a senior demographer at the Carsey Institute and a professor of sociology at UNH.
Andrew Schaefer is a graduate student in sociology at UNH and a research assistant at the Carsey Institute.
CitationMore Poor Kids in More Poor Places: Children Increasingly Live Where Poverty Persists. Kenneth M. Johnson, Marybeth J. Mattingly, Andrew Schaefer. The Carsey Institute 18 October 2011; Issue Brief No. 38.
The authors of this brief examine child poverty rates using decennial census data from 1980, 1990, and 2000, as well as American Community Survey five-year estimates between 2005 and 2009, to identify those counties where child poverty has persisted. They find persistent child poverty in nearly twice as many U.S. counties as those that report high persistent poverty across all age groups. In all, 342 counties have experienced persistently high levels of poverty across all age groups during the past twenty-nine years. In contrast, more than 700 counties experienced persistent child poverty over the same period. Rural areas are disproportionately likely to have persistent high child poverty; 81 percent of counties with persistent child poverty are nonmetropolitan while only 65 percent of all U.S. counties are nonmetropolitan. Overall, 26 percent of rural children reside in counties whose poverty rates have been persistently high. This compares with 12 percent of urban children. Counties with persistent child poverty cluster in Appalachia, the Mississippi Delta, other areas of the Southeast, parts of the Southwest, and in the Great Plains. The authors comment that the overwhelming urban focus of welfare programs means policymakers often overlook needy families in rural areas. In addition to the high unemployment and low education levels that they document in the brief, the physical and social isolation associated with rural poverty create problems different from those in densely settled urban areas. They conclude that the reductions in government spending likely to result from the Great Recession, coupled with two decades of the devolution of policymaking responsibility from the federal to the state level (and occasionally to municipal governments), may have significant implications for children and fragile families in these persistently poor rural counties.
Keywords: children, youth, families, poverty, rural, urban, america.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 October 2011 13:37|