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Almost One in Five Nebraska Children Living in Poverty

We are diving into the data working on some charts and graphs with the newly released American Community Survey Data for later today.  In the meantime, here is the press release we sent to the media this morning:


9/22/2011

CONTACT: Aubrey Mancuso, Economic Policy Coordinator
Phone:  (402) 597-3100
Email:  amancuso@voicesforchildren.com

Press Release


For immediate release 

Census Data:  Almost One in Five Nebraska Children Living in Poverty

OMAHA, Nebraska– According to Census Bureau data released today, the percentage of Nebraska children living in poverty climbed from 15.2 percent in 2009 to 18.2 percent in 2010.  This number has risen from 10 percent at the start of the decade in 2000.

The numbers are even more alarming when we look at disparities among racial and ethnic groups.  Only 14.5 percent of white children were living in poverty while 52.2 percent of African American children, 49.7 percent of Native American children, and 33.8 percent of Hispanic or Latino children were in poverty in Nebraska in 2010.

“I don’t know how our policymakers at both the state and federal level can continue to ignore this growing crisis,” Executive Director Carolyn Rooker said.

Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to experience a variety of negative outcomes ranging from poor health to poor academic performance.  A growing body of research shows that childhood poverty can have an impact that continues into adulthood.  Childhood poverty is associated with an increased likelihood of being economically inactive at age 24.

“When we compare what has happened with poverty rates for the elderly and poverty rates for children over the past decade, it’s clear that we have to do a better job of addressing child poverty,” Rooker said.  Poverty rates for people over 65 have declined over the past decade at the same time child poverty has significantly increased.

“I hope that both state and federal policymakers will take a hard look at these numbers when making budget decisions. We can’t afford to continue cutting funding for programs that impact kids.  We need to get serious about making investments in the next generation if we want to keep the American dream alive,” Rooker said.

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