According to a new study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the number of children living in areas of concentrated poverty in America has grown by 1.6 million in the last decade.
An “area of concentrated poverty” is defined as a census tract where over 30 percent of the population live below the poverty line. In 2000, 6.3 million children lived in areas of concentrated poverty. Today, that number has grown to a whopping 8 million.
The study shows that children growing up in urban or rural areas, as well as children who are Black, Native American and/or Latino are more likely to live in poverty-stricken areas. Detroit, Cleveland and Miami are the highest ranking cities regarding child poverty.
According to experts, the ramifications of these numbers are serious, long-lasting and multi-faceted.
“Patricia Cole, the director of government relations for Zero To Three, an organization that advocates for policies that benefit young children and their families, said that neighborhood poverty is ‘of great concern’ and could affect the country’s future workforce.
‘The developing brain is vulnerable to the damaging influences that you’d find in a poverty situation,’ she said. ‘The more deprived the neighborhood is, the less access to services, to parent health care, and to early childhood programs. Plus it’s more likely to be a dangerous neighborhood, so there’s more likely to be greater stress. Anything that increases the stress of young children and decrease their access to resources is going to be detrimental.'”
Why have child poverty numbers risen so drastically in the past ten years?
How can we bring them down?
Sound off below!