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Publication Details

Publication Title: 2012 National Child Poverty Rate Stagnates at 22.6 Percent
Region: National
Publication Type: Issue Brief
Publication Number: 65
Publication Date: September 20, 2013
Publication PDF: Download PDF

In this brief, authors Marybeth Mattingly, Jessica Carson, and Andrew Schaefer use American Community Survey data released on September 19, 2012, to explore patterns of child poverty across states and place types, focusing on changes both since 2011 and since the recession began in 2007. According to these data, the nation’s child poverty rate stagnated in 2012, at 22.6 percent, not statistically different from the rate in 2011. Central cities still claimed the highest child poverty rates, at nearly 30 percent (29.7), followed by rural (26.2 percent) and suburban places (17.2 percent). After having the lowest child poverty rate in the nation for more than a decade, New Hampshire was among the states with the largest increase; its child poverty rate increased by more than 30 percent since 2011, to reach an estimated 15.6 percent in 2012. The researchers conclude that while child poverty has finally plateaued in the wake of the Great Recession, modest declines in some places and increases in others suggest that the economic “recovery” has not fully taken hold. The authors recommend that policy makers continue to consider the importance of the social safety net—including tax credits, food stamps, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families—in providing critical support for children.

Author(s) Marybeth J. Mattingly, Jessica A. Carson, Andrew Schaefer
Category(s) Vulnerable Families