Childhood poverty is far from a rarity in America,
and in certain ethnic and racial minority groups,
it is epidemic. As of 1994, 22% of American children
lived in families with cash incomes below the poverty
threshold (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1996). In
addition to being more economically disadvantaged than
their counterparts in other Western industrialized countries
(see Figure 1; Smeeding, 1992), American children
today are faring less well than their American counterparts
three decades ago. Following a period of decline
in the rate of official childhood poverty in America from
27% in 1959 to 14% in 1969, the rate rose slightly
throughout the 1970s and increased sharply between
1979 and 1984 from 17% to 22%. A temporary decline
between 1984 and 1989 was followed by a gradual increase
(Danziger & Danziger, 1993). Children under 6
years of age are at higher risk of being poor than are
children ages 6-17 years, largely because their parents
are younger and command lower wages (see Figure 2;
Bronfenbrenner, McClelland, Wethington, Moen, & Ceci,
See the attached documents for more details.
- Child Development and NeuroscienceDownload.
- Long-Term Poverty and Child Development in the United StatesDownload
- Socioeconomic status and child developmentDownload.