Last month the KIDS COUNT Data Center released their report on children living in concentrated poverty. They define concentrated poverty as “those census tracts with poverty rates of 30% or more.” Using American Community Survey data, they found that almost 8 million or 11% of children under the age of 18 were living in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty. This is up 25% (1.6 million children) from 2000. The rise in Oklahoma is even great from 5% to 11% (about 104% increase) in the same time period.
It may shock you to find out that nearly half of the children living in these neighborhoods actually live above the poverty line. Also, contrary to stereotypes, 74% of children have at least one parent in the labor force. Not shockingly, African-American, American Indian, and Latino children are more likely than white children to live in these neighborhoods.
Children living in these neighborhoods are more likely to face hardships around food, housing, transportation, health, stress, and behavior. But, the approach is not all doom and gloom, it also suggests several approaches to help these areas:
- Promoting community change efforts that integrate physical revitalization with human capital development
- Leveraging “anchor institutions” to build strong supportive communities for children and families
- Promoting proven and promising practices in the areas of work supports, asset building, and employment
- Connecting neighborhood improvements to citywide and regional efforts
- Increasing access to affordable housing in save, opportunity-rich communities for low-income families, particularly families of color
To access the full report, click here.
To access only the state-by-state data, click here.