Written By Sophie Okolo
A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that more U.S. children are living in poverty now than in the Great Recession. With the nation’s economic turnaround, this study is particularly troubling because it suggests that child welfare may be sidelined in the country.
Poverty is a complicated problem in the United States. From poor choices to bad circumstances, the lack of wealth affects every state and ethnic group in the nation, although disparities exist.
This summer, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Trymaine Lee and photographer Matt Black are traveling across the country to document the struggles of more than 70 American cities and towns in a series titled, “Geography of Poverty.” The series also highlights child poverty stating, “For the first time in more than 50 years, the majority of America’s public school children are living in poverty.”
This coincides with the facts reported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. According to the report, “Twenty-two percent of American children were living in poverty in 2013 compared with 18 percent in 2008, with poverty rates nearly double among African-Americans and American Indians and problems most severe in South and Southwest.”
While these facts are discouraging, the study also discusses the reasons behind, and in some cases drive, the increasing poverty rates, which are unemployment and single-parent homes. The study states that, “More children were raised in single-parent homes in 2013 than in 2008, and fewer lived with parents with secure employment.” It is clearly going to take passing social and economic reforms to solve the problem of child poverty.
Like every complex problem, there are solutions to this issue. For example, mentorship can help low-income families break the poverty cycle. Children are the nation’s future, therefore, it is important to come-up with strategies to address poverty in the U.S.
Can poverty be eliminated in the United States? If so, what strategies would you use to address this issue?