If you only look at the unemployment rate and the stock market, you probably think most families are faring well in this economy.
But new data from the Census Bureau and the Annie E. Casey Foundation paint a troubling picture about the number of children living in concentrated poverty in our state. Concentrated poverty can be defined as a neighborhood where 30% or more of the population is living in poverty.
States in the South and the West tend to have higher rates of children living in concentrated poverty, making up 17 of 25 states with rates of 10 percent and above.
This matters because children in these high-poverty neighborhoods tend to lack access to quality medical care, healthy food, and they face greater exposure to environmental hazards and chronic stress.
This week’s numbers come to us from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s latest report: “Children Living in High Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods.”
13 million – Last year, 13 million children in the United States were living in poverty.
32 – the percentage of Black children in the U.S. who lived in poverty in 2018
26 – the percentage of Latinx children in the U.S. who lived in poverty in 2018.
1.4 million – the number of North Carolinians who are still living in poverty, despite signs of modest economic growth (Source: NC Budget & Tax Center).
14 – the percentage of North Carolinians who lived in poverty in 2018, living on less than $25,100 a year for a family of four.
15.3 – the percentage of women living in poverty. Also worth noting, women face higher poverty rates than men (15.3 percent compared to 12.7 percent, respectively).
11 – the percentage of children in North Carolina who live in neighborhoods with highly-concentrated poverty (Source: “Children Living in High Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” Annie E. Casey Foundation).
30 – A community of concentrated poverty is defined as a neighborhood where 30% or more of the population is living in poverty. It is considered one of the greatest risks to child development.
260,000+ – the number of North Carolina children who live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty (2013-2017).
130,000+ – the number of South Carolina children who live in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty (2013-2017).
1 of 25 – North Carolina is one of 25 states with childhood poverty rates of 10% and above
6 – In North Carolina, Black children are six times more likely than white children to live in high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods.
130,000+ – According to the Census Bureau, just over 130,000 children in North Carolina had no health insurance at all in 2018.
144 – Monday marks the 144th day of the 2019 legislative session — the 144th day that lawmakers in the N.C. House have failed to act on Medicaid expansion.
So, how do we help struggling families? NC Child and the Casey Foundation offer three recommendations:
- Expanding Medicaid to remove the financial instability often caused by lack of health coverage. Over 100,000 North Carolina parents have no health coverage.
- Expanding workforce training that is targeted to high-poverty, low-opportunity communities.
- Ending discriminatory policies and practices in employment, housing, education, health care, and finance that keep individuals out of property ownership, entrepreneurship, and financial advancement.
Learn more about children in concentrated poverty in our interview with NC Child Deputy Director Rob Thompson. Click below.