The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center http://datacenter.kidscount.org has been updated to include poverty data from the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) that was released on September 28 by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Data Center for the first time breaks down child poverty rates by congressional district, highlighting those with the highest and lowest percent of children living below the poverty line.
As a result of the recession and growing unemployment, the 2009 ACS data show a significant rise in the child poverty rate, jumping from 18 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2009. There are currently 14.7 million children in households with incomes below the poverty threshold in the United States, 1.6 million more than in 2007 before the recession began. KIDS COUNT analysis of the ACS data shows a wide variation in child poverty rates across congressional districts nationwide, from a high of 49 percent in New York’s Congressional District 16 to a low of 3 percent in New Jersey’s Congressional District 11 and Pennsylvania’s Congressional District 8.
In 2009 the poverty threshold was $21,756 for a family of two adults and two children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the official poverty thresholds do not vary geographically, but are updated annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U).
“These numbers should be a major wakeup call,” said Laura Beavers, national KIDS COUNT coordinator at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “The economic success of America’s children and families, now more than ever, depends on the financial stability of the communities they live in. The Casey Foundation believes that kids do well when their parents do well, and parents do well when their communities thrive. Our future shared prosperity is endangered if we do not protect our current safety net and extend emergency measures like jobless benefits, housing assistance, and other tax credits.”
The KIDS COUNT Data Center contains maps and graphs of the latest data on poverty, health insurance coverage, and more than 100 other indicators of child well-being. The Data Center now allows users to import widgets, maps, and graphs directly to their own websites as well as download static maps, graphs, and ranking tables for use in presentations and publications. Additional indicators based on the latest ACS and will be updated as data become available. Data are compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Population Reference Bureau.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organization, whose primary mission is to foster public policies, human-service reforms, and community supports that more effectively meet the needs of today’s vulnerable children and families. For more information, visit www.aecf.org.
The Population Reference Bureau informs people around the world about population, health, and the environment, and empowers them to use that information to advance the well-being of current and future generations. For more information, visit www.prg.org.