U.S. Childhood Gets Poor Grades

The Anne E. Casey Foundation released its “2011 Kids Count Data Book” on Aug. 17, and it did not make for encouraging reading. According to the report, after showing historic improvement in the period 1996 to 2000, when the child poverty rate fell by nearly 30 percent, the condition of children in the United States has been in significant decline. The cause is not hard to identify: growing national poverty. Anne E. Casey’s researchers report: “The economic recession of the past few years effectively wiped out all of the gains we made in cutting child poverty in the late 1990s.” In 2009, 20 percent of children (14.7 million) were growing up poor, up from 17 percent in 2000. As the jobless recovery continues, just about every state in the nation recorded increasing numbers of children growing up in households without a breadwinner, a startling 31 percent of U.S. families in 2008.

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