Report finds 44 percent of U.S. children live in low-income families

The Great Recession may be over, but the number of children living in poverty or low-income families is still higher than pre-recession levels.

A new report by the National Center for Children in Poverty found that 44 percent of the nation’s children live in low-income households, according to 2013 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. Of those living in low-income households, half, or 22 percent, are living in poor households. Low-income is considered 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and poor is defined as 100 percent of the poverty level. For 2013, a family of four making less than $23,624 is considered at the federal poverty level, and $47,248 is considered low income.

In 2007, the number of children living in low-income families increased by 13 percent, and the number of children living in poor families by 23 percent. NCCP researchers also found white children make up the largest proportion of low-income children, and Hispanics the largest share of poor children,.

“Black, American Indian, and Hispanic children are disproportionately low income and poor,” the report reads.

Unsurprisingly, education also plays a major role in the likelihood of a low-income or poor family. The report found that 86 percent of children of parents with less than a high school degree are likely to live in low-income families, and 67 percent of children from parents with just a high school degree and no college live in low-income families. But, as the report noted, a large chunk — 31 percent — of children with one parent with at least some college education also live in a low-income household.

Yang Jiang, a senior research associate at the NCCP, explained to the Boston Globe that the combination of raising children while working may hurt education attempts.

“Without adequate support, trying to get training can end up draining a family’s resources,” Jiang said.

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