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Lots of American kids still in poverty

Children stand among the tents set up in the shantytown built last year to house the poor and homeless in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami.


Doug Krizner: The government's releasing a report card today on the well-being of the nation's children. It'll look at everything from poverty and hunger to education and health. Jeremy Hobson has more.

Jeremy Hobson: Children account for about a quarter of the U.S. population — 74 million Americans. And 12 million of those kids are classified as "food insecure."

At last count, about the same number were living in poverty. That means less than $20,000 a year for a family of four.

Julia Isaacs: We have not made the progress in lowering the child poverty rate that I think we would like to be making.

That's Julia Isaacs, who focuses on child and family policy at the Brookings Institution. She says these numbers have long-term implications.

Isaacs: Thirty years from now, you know these children will be the workers, the citizens. And if children are not living in conditions where they can flourish and do well, it won't be good for the country.

While things aren't getting much worse, they don't seem to be getting better either. Isaacs points out many of the numbers have remained flat for years.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.


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