More Hispanic children in the United States are living in poverty than any other racial or ethnic group, according to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center
. The finding marks the first time in U.S. history that white children have been surpassed as the poorest group of children.
The report found that 6.1 million Latino children were living in poverty last year. In 2010, 37.3 percent of poor children were Latino, 30.5 percent were white, and 26.6 percent were black, Pew said.
“This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates, and declining economic fortunes,” Pew reported. “According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics today make up a record 16.3 percent of the total U.S. population. But they comprise an even larger share — 23.1 percent — of the nation's children, a disparity driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants.”
About 4.1 million of the 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty are children of immigrant parents, with more than 85 percent being born in the United States. The recession is largely responsible for the numbers as the unemployment rate for Hispanics steadily crept up and now stands at 11.1 percent compared to the national rate of 9.1 percent.
Before the recession, which officially lasted from 2007 to 2009, more white children lived in poverty than Hispanic children.
“However, since 2007, that pattern has reversed,” the report said. “Between 2007 and 2010, an additional 1.6 million Hispanic children lived in poverty, an increase of 36.3 percent. By contrast, even though the number of white and black children living in poverty also grew, their numbers grew more slowly — up 17.6 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.”
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