Thursday, August 18, 2011

Too many of our kids are in trouble!

I quote from a new study by the Anne E. Casey Foundation:
The most worrisome trend of all is the decline in economic well-being for children and families at the lower half of the income distribution. The last decade—the recession and the years preceding it—wiped out tremendous gains made in the late 1990s when child poverty declined dramatically, especially among African Americans, as did the percent of children growing up without at least one parent employed full time, yearround. After dropping to a low of 39 percent in 2000, the percent of children living in low-income families (that is, with incomes of twice the official poverty line) gradually began to increase. Since 2001, the number of low-income children climbed steadily from 27 million to 31 million in 2009, or 42 percent of children. The official child poverty rate, which is a conservative measure of economic hardship, reached 20 percent in 2009, essentially the same level as 1990.
Kids from poor families don't have the opportunities that we promise to all our citizens. Their parents are too often preoccupied with survival. They don't enjoy the rich environment of more affluent kids, they have fewer educational opportunities, they may be hungry, more often sick, and less well cared for when they are sick.

The United States is based on the premise put forth in the Declaration of Independence:
All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The children we are allowing with increasing frequency to grow up in poverty are not getting a fair shake, they are not given the full right to pursue happiness. Moreover, as their current poverty leads them to prosper less in future decades, all our children and children's children are likely to have fewer opportunities than we could guarantee now.

Data Book Widget - Data Book 2011 - Data Book - KIDS COUNT Data Center

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