The Basic Facts About Children in Poverty
In America, nearly 11 million children are poor. That’s 1 in 7 kids, who make up almost one-third of all people living in poverty in this country. This number should be unimaginable in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, and yet child poverty has remained stubbornly high for decades Across the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which is made up of 37 countries including Denmark, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom, the United States is consistently ranked as one of the worst in child poverty rates.1
As the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession continue to devastate the United States, children are facing the consequences of failed leadership. Since April 2020, the share of children with at least one unemployed parent has consistently remained above reported rates during the peak of the Great Recession.2 More than 4 in 10 children live in a household struggling to meet basic expenses, and between 7 million and 11 million children live in households in which they are unable to eat enough because of the cost.3 When the pandemic forced schools to shift to distanced and virtual learning, it worsened the barriers to quality education for low-income children4 and pushed their parents, particularly mothers, to choose between caregiving and employment.5 Without serious interventions, an economic recovery will leave low-income and marginalized people—and their children—behind. Already, some calculations are finding that the child poverty rate has increased dramatically since the onset of the coronavirus crisis.6
Source: Center for American Progress (2021). The basic facts about children in poverty.