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Almost 40 percent of black children are raised in poverty, says Pew. (Photo: Fensterbme/cc/flickr)

Almost 40 percent of black children are raised in poverty, says Pew. (Photo: Fensterbme/cc/flickr)

Black Children Almost 4 Times More Likely to Grow Up Poor Than Whites

While rate has dropped for other populations, at 38 percent the number of black children raised in poor households remains steady

Lauren McCauley

For the first time since the U.S. Census began, the number of black children living in poverty has surpassed the number of poor white children, despite the significant difference in population size, a new Pew Research study published Tuesday has found.

According to the Pew analysis of recent Census data, in 2013, 14.7 million children in the U.S. (roughly 20 percent) lived in a household with an annual income below $23,624 for a family of four. This marks a decline of two percent since 2010.

While this drop was shared among Hispanic, white, and Asian children, the rate of black children living in poverty "held steady at about 38 percent."

And despite the fact that white children in the U.S. outnumber black children by at least 3 to 1, at 4.2 million, the number of black children living beneath the poverty line exceeds the 4.1 million impoverished white children.

"Black children were almost four times as likely as white or Asian children to be living in poverty in 2013, and significantly more likely than Hispanic children," Pew notes.

Since 2008, Hispanic children have comprised the largest group living in these conditions—an estimated 5.4 million in 2013—which the researchers attribute to the fact that the Hispanic population is "larger and younger" than any other minority racial or ethnic group in the U.S.

In not unrelated news, a Huffington Post analysis published on Monday found that black children in the U.S. were "1.6 times more likely to test positive for lead in their blood than white children"—a preventable affliction attributed to "years of living in substandard housing." 


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