The news: The Great Recession may be technically over, but America is still feeling its effects. And often, the ones getting the brunt of it are the youngest Americans. New data from the United States Census Bureau has found that the economic collapse from 2007 to 2012 had a dramatic effect on child poverty rates: all but one state had at least one county see an increase in child poverty during the five year period of the Great Recession.
Check out the map:
Source: The Washington Post
North Dakota was the only state not to have an increase in poverty among school-aged children between 2007 and 2012. In fact, North Dakota on the whole is doing very well for itself. Largely thanks to an oil boom, North and South Dakota saw a significant increase in median incomes in almost half of their counties from 2007 to 2012. That’s nearly as many counties as the rest of the nation combined for the same period, according to the Census Bureau. In fact, Williams County in North Dakota is home to one of the highest median incomes in the country.
Why this matters: Because child poverty really sucks. Poverty is pretty terrible in general, but particularly for school-aged kids, poverty is a killer. Among the 13,544 school districts in 2012, almost 15% had child poverty rates over 30%. When child poverty rates are increasing across the country, it’s not a good sign, whether the Great Recession has “ended” or not. And with people like New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling child homelessness, “just the way god works,” maybe it’s time to take a hard look at why child poverty is increasing, and what we can do about it.