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Child poverty down, but racial disparities persist

Last week data-nerds all over the country (including those here at Voices for Children), had a field day as the U.S. Census Bureau released their 2012 (1-year) estimates of poverty from the American Community Survey (ACS).

Overall, the child poverty rate in Nebraska decreased slightly — from 18.1% in 2011 down to 17.9% in 2012. A decreasing number, no matter how small, is still cause for celebration. Kids moving out of poverty is a good thing, but we know the overall number fails to tell the whole story. Digging a bit deeper into the data reveals a bit more regarding who is in poverty in the state and how different groups of children are doing.

Our first breakdown of the data is by race/ethnicity.  Due to the limitations of the ACS sample size, we can only compare the largest three racial/ethnic groups in our state – White, Black, Hispanic (Asian, Native American, Other and Two or more races are small enough groups that they are not included in this 1-year set of ACS data.  We will have 3-year averages for these groups later in the year).

What we found when comparing White, Black, and Hispanic kids was that fewer White and Hispanic kids were living in poverty in 2012 than in 2011, but the number of Black kids in poverty grew by nearly 7%.


As we continue to tell the whole story of all Nebraska kids, this data helps highlight racial disparities in our state.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue examining the new poverty data from the ACS and we want to know which data breakdowns would be most useful to you.  Let us know in the comments what comparisons you’d like to see and we will do our best to cover them.

Thank you to taking the time to share!

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