NC Budget and Tax Center, Poverty and Policy Matters

Poverty and Policy Matters: 1 in 4 North Carolina Children Live in Poverty

The latest data from the US Census Bureau find that 1 in 4 of North Carolina’s children live in poverty.  This is a five percentage point increase since the start of the Great Recession—a staggering one with important implications for the future of our state.

Children growing up in poverty face daily challenges that over a childhood accumulate into significant barriers to opportunity and mobility.  Recent evidence finds that children in the bottom 20% of the income distribution, those living in poverty, have just a 50/50 chance of moving out of poverty as adults. The greater the number of children living in poverty, the greater economic hardship we can anticipate in the future unless something is done to address child poverty and its worst impacts on a child’s life.

Evidence suggests that the best approach to child poverty protects children at a young age from its most damaging effects.  The latest data shows that nearly 1 in 3 children under the age of 5 are living in poverty, vulnerable to the long-term effects of toxic stress that affect brain development and long-term life chances.  Quality early childhood development programs that provide a learning environment with caring, consistent relationships with adults are demonstrated not only to minimize the affects of toxic stress but to deliver long-term significant economic returns.

Continuing to invest in a quality educational experience throughout the childhood years is critical.  But it is also important to build a quality community for children to grow up in.  Such communities provide mentorship and safety, foster healthy activities and well-being, and ensure a stable and affordable home.

Finally, child poverty is in direct relationship with the struggles of working parents.  It is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure that working parents are able to earn a living wage, balance their work-life responsibilities, and invest in their child’s future.

We must #talkpoverty and develop the will to solve these problems.

2 Comments


  1. Frances Jenkins

    September 25, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Is this the product of the last 140 years of Democrat rule?

  2. Linda

    September 26, 2012 at 5:00 am

    This is very sad news I must say. Well it is not really news, we all knew that poverty keep on becoming larger and larger. Our goverment is the one to lame. Their kids live in luxary apartment, eat organic food while other innocent kids have to survive on the streets. Unfair

Check Also

Job announcements still fall short of 16,000 new jobs needed every month in N.C. to get back to pre-Recession levels

The North Carolina GOP released a press release ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement refuses to disclose any details of probe into alle [...]

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill [...]

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative [...]

The SePro Corporation is receiving as much as $1.3 million in taxpayer money to chemically kill the [...]

Here is something you probably haven’t heard much lately, if at all, given the shocking news from Ch [...]

Lawmakers to return to Raleigh yet again; agenda may include dangerous “de-reg” proposal The North C [...]

The three federal judges could have just come right out and said it: The Republicans who rule the N. [...]

3---number of states that adopted new state Earned Income Tax Credits in 2017---Montana, Hawaii, and [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more