Number Of Children Living In Areas Of Concentrated Poverty On The Rise

STATE — The number of children living in areas of concentrated poverty has increased by 25 percent nationwide since 2000, according to data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count project.

In New Jersey in 2000, there were 103,000 children living in areas where 30 percent or more of the residents were below the poverty threshold. According to the 2006-10 five-year estimates produced by the American Community Survey, that number jumped to 128,000, a 24 percent increase.

Nationally, the number of children living in areas of concentrated increased from 6.3 million to 7.88 million during that same time period.

According to the report, “[R]esearch has shown that even when family income is held constant, families living in areas of concentrated poverty are more likely to struggle to meet their children’s basic material needs. They are more likely to face food hardship, have trouble paying their housing costs, and lack health insurance than those living in more affluent areas. Children living in areas of concentrated poverty are also more likely to experience harmful levels of stress and severe behavioral and emotional problems than children overall.”

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