Nevada is one of 29 states that saw a decrease in children living in concentrated poverty according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. However, rates are still staggeringly high among children of color according to “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods.”
Across the country, African American and American Indian children are seven times and Latino children five times more likely to live in poor neighborhoods than white children.
In Nevada, 16 percent of Black children, 13 percent of American Indian Alaska Native children, and 16 percent of Hispanic children live in concentrated poverty, compared to 3 percent of white children.
These disparities, the report notes, “are the legacies of racial and ethnic oppression, as well as the result of present-day laws and practices.”
By “concentrated poverty,” the report is referring to census tracts where the overall poverty rate is 30 percent or higher. An estimated 67,000 children in Nevada live in concentrated poverty according to the group’s 2013–2017 estimates, which is down from 76,000 in 2008–2012.
“While there have been improvements in child poverty within the state, it is important to make sure we continue the efforts to lift all children out of poverty,” said Jared Busker, the associate director of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance. “Children who live in poverty often lack access to important resources, for instance, healthy food or adequate child care, so we must focus on investing in programs designed to lift children out of poverty, such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
While the state is one of 29 to see the rate of childhood living in concentrated poverty, there are still more than 8.5 million children around the country living in areas of concentrated poverty.
“We all know that children thrive when they grow up in neighborhoods with high-quality schools, abundant job opportunities, reliable transportation and safe places for recreation, yet across the country, millions of our kids are living in poverty,” said Lisa Hamilton, the Casey Foundation’s president and CEO. “Following such a long period of national economic growth, we should see widespread poverty reduction for more communities. It is imperative that we implement policies to revitalize the children and families that remain left behind.”