University of New Hampshire Study Finds Persisting Racial Gap in Child Poverty

A new analysis by researchers at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, finds that child poverty in the United States declined between 2014 and 2015 for almost all racial and ethnic groups. Only Asian American children showed an increase in poverty.

African Americans had one of the largest declines in the poverty rate for children. However, more than one third of all African American children continue to live in poverty. In 2015, 36.5 percent of all Black children lived in families below the poverty line. This is more than three times the rate for non-Hispanic White children.

The highest rates of poverty for Black children are in the Midwest. There, 43.2 percent of all African American children live in families below the poverty line. Nationwide, the poverty rate for Black children is higher in rural areas than it is in urban locales. The reverse is true for Hispanic children.

The authors conclude that “given the well-established connection between child poverty and brain development, educational attainment, later labor market participation, and long-term health outcomes, the high incidence of place- and race-based child poverty in the United States is of particular concern.”

The full report, Gains in Reducing Child Poverty, But Racial-Ethnic Disparities Persist, may be downloaded by clicking here.


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