Child poverty is getting worse in America. And with more and more states seeing their populations of disadvantaged youth soar beyond pre-recession levels, the crisis is far from limited to a few troubled states.
In 2007, before the economy seized up, and before a combination of rising unemployment and plunging home values left millions of Americans scrambling to make ends meet, the child poverty rate in America was 17.8 percent, according to a report released in December from First Focus and the Brookings Institution. Only fourteen states had child poverty rates of 20 percent or more, a percentage that put them in a category the report calls "high child poverty status."
Things have devolved considerably in the years since, however. By 2010, the national child poverty rate had risen to 21.6 percent, and the number of high-child-poverty states had nearly doubled, to 25.