University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Child Poverty during the Great Recession: Predicting State Child Poverty Rates for 2010

The country is slowly emerging from the Great Recession, the longest period of economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. As unemployment rates have risen, poverty also has risen. More than one in five children were poor in 2009, according to data released by the Census Bureau in September. Poverty statistics for 2010 will not be released until next September. This paper uses current data on nutrition assistance and unemployment, combined with lagged child poverty data, to provide predictions of child poverty, by state, 10 months before the actual statistics will be released. The model predicts that most states will see a rise in child poverty in 2010, with the increase averaging 1.3 percentage points across the states. According to these predictions, half the states (26 states) will have child poverty rates of 20 percent or higher in 2010, almost double the number of states (14) with poverty of 20 percent or higher in the pre-recessionary period of 2000 to 2007. Nationally, the number of poor children is predicted to rise by nearly 1 million, from 14.7 million in 2009 to 15.6 million children in 2010. The national child poverty rate is estimated to increase from 20.0 percent in 2009 to 21.3 percent in 2010. These predictions are subject to uncertainty, but nonetheless provide an early glimpse of how children are continuing to be affected by the Great Recession’s lingering effects.

Categories

Child Poverty, Children, Employment, Food & Nutrition, Food Assistance, Poverty Measurement, State & Local Measures, U.S. Poverty Measures, Unemployment/Nonemployment

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