According to a new report by the Children's Defense Fund, The State of America's Children, the percentage of children living in poverty showed a dramatic increase between the years of 2008 and 2009. Child poverty increased by nearly 10%, amounting to the largest increase in a single year since data has been collected. Between 2000 and 2009, child poverty increased 28%, a distressing change in direction from the 27% drop in poverty levels that occurred between 1992 and 2000. In 2009, 15.5 million, or one out of every 5 children lived in poverty, defined as having an annual income of less than $22,050 for a family of four. Nearly half of these children live in extreme poverty, with an annual income of less than $11,025 for a family of four.
The report highlighted the wide gaps in levels of child poverty based on race. While in 2009 17.7% of white children were poor, 35.7% of black children and 33.1% of Hispanic children lived in poverty. In addition, the report shows that children of color also show increased risks for a number of issues, such as poor prenatal care and infant mortality, unstable families, being put in foster care, receiving poor education, being unemployed, ending up in the juvenile justice system, or becoming a victim of gun violence.