Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Census: More American Children in Poverty

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 9:21 AM

In a troubling snapshot of the American family, a new Census report reveals more children who have known nothing but poverty.

More than 650 counties in the United States saw significant increases in poverty for children ages 5 to 17, according to the most recent Census. Only eight counties from across the nation reported a decrease. A staggering 19.8 percent of American schoolchildren qualify as poor.

The 2010 Census indicated four Idaho counties registered overall poverty rates of 20 percent or above: Lemhi, Madison, Owyhee and Shoshone

The report reminds us that unless Congress acts within the coming weeks, extended unemployment insurance benefits will expire at the end of the year, sending more families into financial turmoil. Any possible expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the child tax credit could also go away without congressional intervention. Congress will also need to decide soon whether to extend the payroll tax cut, which gives about an extra $1,000 to each household, aiding primarily the middle class.

In today's BW, we profile Teresa Alexander and Joanne Taylor from the Children's Home Society of Idaho, which is seeing a continual rise of families who are not able to meet their insurance co-pay for much-needed services for infants and toddlers.

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