African American Children Four Times as Likely to Live in Poverty as White Children


Black children were almost four times as likely as white children to be living in poverty in 2013, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center analyzing data from the United States Census Bureau.

Overall, child poverty in the United States declined from 22 percent in 2010 to about 20 percent in 2013. But while the poverty rate fell for Hispanic, white, and Asian children, it remained constant for Black children, at about 38.3 percent. In contrast, 10.7 percent of white children were living in poverty in 2013.

For the first time since the federal government began collecting this data, there are more poor Black children than poor white children, even though white children far outnumber Black children in the American population. About 4.2 million Black children were living in poverty in 2013, compared to 4.1 million white children. The report found 5.4 million Hispanic children in poverty, which is more than any other group because, researchers said, the Hispanic population is larger and younger than any other group, and the child poverty rate is relatively high.

Researchers did not investigate the reasons why the economic recovery is leaving behind African American children. Eileen Patten, a research analyst at Pew, said one possible driver was the unemployment rate, which has been higher for African Americans than most other groups and has taken longer to decrease after the recession.