As we mark the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty this month, it’s a good time to take stock of the economic status of California children and their families.
While the national poverty rate declined from 26 percent in 1967 to 16 percent in 2012, it has been harder to move the needle on child poverty in California in recent years.
The state’s child poverty rate in 2012 – 22.5 percent – was about the same as it was in 1990, although it dipped to a low of about 16 percent in 2001, according to an analysis by the California Budget Project.
Why does this matter? The national research center ChildTrends highlights the five ways poverty harms children’s health and well being.
Several measures tracked by kidsdata.org show other ways in which California children and their families continue to struggle despite the recovering economy:
- Nearly 30 percent of California children lived in “crowded households” – a marker of poverty and high housing costs – in 2011.
- More than 220,000 children in the state’s public schools were homeless in 2011.
- Nearly 3.5 million public schoolchildren qualified for free or reduced price school meals in 2012.
See more state and county-level data on California child poverty and family income on kidsdata.org:
- A Less-Noticed Consequence of Child Poverty: Poor Health as Adults, Kidsdata.org advisory
- Poverty in the Golden State: Where California Stands 50 Years Since the War on Poverty Began, California Budget Project
- Child Poverty in California, California Public Policy Institute
photo credit from flickr.
Posted by kidsdata.org