Nearly half of US children living near poverty line: Report

New York, March 3 (IANS) Nearly half of children in the US live dangerously close to the poverty line, reveals an annual report on child poverty in America.

While the total number of children in the US has remained about the same since 2008, more children today are likely to live in families barely able to afford their most basic needs, stated the report “Basic Facts about Low-Income Children” from the National Centre for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

In 2014, 44 percent of children under age 18 (31.4 million) lived in low-income households and 21 percent lived in poor families (15.4 million), the findings showed.

For the study, the researchers used the latest data from the American Community Survey,

“These data challenge the prevailing beliefs that many still hold about what poverty looks like and which children in this country are most likely to be at risk,” said NCCP director Renee Wilson-Simmons.

“The fact is, despite the significant gains we’ve made in expanding nutrition and health insurance programmes to reach the children most in need, millions of children are living in families still struggling to make ends meet in our low-growth, low-wage economy,” Wilson-Simmons noted in an official statement released on Wednesday.

According to NCCP researchers, the number of poor children in the US grew by 18 percent from 2008 to 2014 (the latest available data), and the number of children living in low-income households grew by 10 percent.

Published annually since 2009, “Basic Facts about Low-Income Children” profiles demographic and socioeconomic conditions of poor and low-income children in fact sheets for five age groups, from infants and toddlers to adolescents.

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