Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Kids Count Report Finds 32 Percent of Hispanic Children Live in Poverty

The annual Kids Count report by The Anne E. Casey Foundation finds that Latino children are significantly more likely than white children to live in poverty.

Hispanic children are also the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to attend preschool, are more likely than white or black children to lack health insurance and are the most likely of any group to be in a family where the household head lacks a high school diploma.

The report evaluates child well-being in every state and found that the two states with the largest population of Latino children rank near the bottom of the list of states. Texas is ranked 44th, and California, 41st.

The foundation says declines in child well-being can have dire consequences  for the United States’ future. In 2010,  32 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared with 13 percent of white children, 38 percent of black children and 14 percent of Asian children. That year, a family of two adults and two children fell into the “poverty” category if their annual income was below $22,113–the federal definition varies based on family size.

“Millions of children are growing up with risk factors that predict that they will not succeed in the world they will inherit,” the report says. “And, if they don’t succeed, this country will become increasingly less able to compete and thrive in the global economy, thereby affecting the standard of living and the strength of our nation for all of us.”

Here are some other key data from the report on Latino children:

  • Between 2008 and 2010, about 63 percent of Hispanic children did not attend preschool. By comparison, about half of black and white children didn’t attend preschool.
  • In 2010, about 14 percent of Hispanic children lacked health insurance, compared with about 6 percent of white children and 7 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, about 37 percent of Latino children lived in families where the household head lacked a high school diploma, compared with 7 percent of white children and 15 percent of black children.
  • Between 2006-10, about 19 percent of Latino children lived in high-poverty areas, compared with 3 percent of white children and 27 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, about 41 percent of Hispanic children were living in single-parent households, compared with 24 percent of white children and 66 percent of black children.
  • In 2010, About 40 percent of Hispanic children’s parents lacked secure employment, compared with 25 percent of white children and 49 percent of black children.
  • In 2009, there were 70 teen births per 1,000 female Hispanic teens compared with 25 among white teens and 59 among black teens.
  • In 2011, about 82 percent of Hispanic children were not proficient in reading and 80 percent of eighth-graders were not proficient in math.
  • One bright spot was that  in 2009, Hispanic children were the least likely to be low-birth weight and were also below the national average. About 6.9 percent of babies were low birth-weight, compared with about 13.3 percent of black babies.

You can localize this story to your state, and community. Where is poverty growing, and how are school districts dealing with the increase and their changing student populations?