Study: Economy Taking Toll on Nation's Kids

Wednesday, 17 Aug 2011 09:18 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The moribund economy has taken its toll on children across America with at least 20 percent — 14.7 million — now living in poverty, a level that is about the same as it was nearly 20 years ago, a new study from the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation shows.
The recent recession has made things even worse, according to the study, which found that 5.3 million kids have been forced out of their homes by foreclosure since the recession began in late 2007 and that nearly 11 percent, or 7.7 million, lived with unemployed parents last year.
The study, released Wednesday, found the poverty rate among kids has increased in 38 states, with several states in the South ranking as among the worst when it comes to a child’s overall well being.
The findings are part of the annual Kids Count survey sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which analyzes data from all 50 states to track how America’s youth are faring in a number of categories — ranging from poverty levels to teen dropout and birth rates.
Among all 50 states, Mississippi ranked last in the survey and New Hampshire came out on top.
Writing in a forward to the report, foundation president Patrick T. McCarthy warned that that continued budget-cutting measures at both the state and federal levels would likely make things even worse.
“Many low-income families will suffer deep social and economic consequences, and they are at high risk of being pushed even further off the path to opportunity and stability,” he said. “ The bottom line is that the situation will likely worsen before it improves.”

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