Written by Corey Fyke.
New data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey an analyzed by Connecticut Voices for Children show that the official end of the Great Recession hasn't improved Connecticut's child-poverty profile.
In fact, there was a net increase between 2008 and 2012 in child poverty, according to a release from Connecticut Voices for Children: More than one in seven Connecticut children lived in poverty last year, an increase of more than 17% since 2008.
At the start of the Great Recession, Connecticut experienced the largest increase in child poverty of any state in the nation, rising from 7.9% in 2007 to 9.3% in 2008.
“Given what we know about the link between child poverty, decreased educational opportunity, and lower lifetime earnings, these numbers bode poorly not only for the children living in need but also for the long-term economic health of our state,” said Ellen Shemitz, Executive Director of Connecticut Voices for Children.
Among Connecticut children under age 18, 14.8% (117,000 children) lived in families with incomes under the Federal Poverty Level in 2012, up from 12.6% in 2008. This compares with an overall increase in poverty in the state from 9.3% in 2008 to 10.7% (372,000 residents) in 2012. (In 2012, the federal poverty threshold was $23,283 for a two-parent household with two children.)
“Child poverty reflects policy choices made at the local, state and federal levels. Our success in dramatically decreasing poverty among the elderly demonstrates how well we can bend the curve when we want to," Shemitz said. "To bend the curve in child poverty, we need to make strategic investments in programs and services that work: quality early childhood education, targeted parenting support, universal access to health care, and tools that provide economic security.”
— Information from Connecticut Voices for Children