NV childhood poverty rate drops overall, but still high for children of color

By: - September 24, 2019 2:06 pm

From “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” Children’s Advocacy Alliance.

From “Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods,” Children’s Advocacy Alliance.

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.”

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.