The United States and Childhood Poverty: In the Developed World, Only Romania is Worse
Unicef released a new study (PDF) exploring childhood poverty in the world’s wealthiest countries.
What’s happening in this table is a look at what’s called “relative poverty,” defined as the percentage of children aged 0 to 17 “living in a household in which disposable income, when adjusted for family size and composition, is less than 50% of the national median income.”
The UNICEF report is far from the first to highlight the growing rate of childhood poverty within the U.S. The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that in 2010, the most recent statistics available, 15 million U.S. children were living in families with incomes below the federal poverty level of $22,050 a year for a family of four.
Although children only compose 24 percent of the population, the organization reports they comprise nearly 34 percent of all people living in poverty. The proportion of children in poverty has been on the rise. For instance, the percentage of children living in low-income families (both poor and near poor) increased from 40 percent to 44 percent between 2005 and 2010, including an 11 percent increase among low-income children and a 17 percent rise among those living below the federal poverty rate.