The Cost of Child Poverty

US_Map WashPost13July

As reported by the The Washington Post:

“The United States has the second-highest child poverty rate among the world’s richest 35 nations, and the cost in economic and educational outcomes is half a trillion dollars a year.”

Did you catch the cost of our country’s poverty? 500 billion dollars. Every year.

Among the 35 richest countries in the world, the USA has the 2nd highest rate of children living in poverty. (Thank you, Romania.)

And compared to children from better-resourced families, these children . . .

  • complete fewer years of school
  • earn less as adults
  • are in poorer health
  • are more likely to be arrested (males)
  • are more likely to have a child out-of-wedlock (females)

What do they need to do? Would you tell them, “You just need to buckle down, study hard, and work your way up to the middle class.” At some point, that mantra was more true in our country. However, there is a growing divide in our country, between the haves and the have-nots. And it is becoming harder and harder to move from have-not to have.

“Income-related achievement gaps have continued to grow as the gap between the richest and poorest American families has surged. As researcher Sean Reardon of Stanford University explained recently in The New York Times: ‘We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race’ (Tavernise, 2012, para 4).”

In other words, we are failing the ones that most need to be lifted up.

Want to learn more? Read the full article.

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