Children and families being able to meet their basic needs is imperative to the overall well-being and success of our state’s future leaders and workforce. Nebraska families must be able to achieve financial security and our policies should support them in building a strong future for their children. One way to measure economic success is the number of our state’s children living in poverty. Today, the U.S. Census released their 2014 estimates of poverty and other population level data – the American Community Survey.
Voices for Children uses data from the American Community Survey in much of our advocacy efforts, and you can find it sprinkled throughout the Kids Count in Nebraska Report. Looking at today’s data release brought joy and heightened surge of inspiration for the work that we do each and every day. This year’s ACS data shows that fewer Nebraska kids were living in poverty in 2014 than in 2013. The data also showed the biggest drop in percent of children living in poverty in the last 5 years – since the height of the recession. We still have not met pre-recession levels, but the downward trend is finally gaining some steam and moving in the right direction.
The news continues to be good when you dig deeper and look at our youngest children as well as children of color. A disportionality of our state’s children of color and children under 6 living in poverty remains, but unlike year’s prior, each of these Nebraskans experienced a drop in the child poverty rate as well.
The decreases in number of Nebraska children living in poverty are happy news, please join us in celebrating this accomplishment! Then, it’s time to get right back to work ensuring all Nebraska children and families have an equitable pathway to opportunity and a lifetime of success.