Archives

NC Budget and Tax Center, Poverty and Income Data 2013, Poverty and Policy Matters

Children face the highest poverty rate in North Carolina compared to other age groups according to data released last week by the US Census Bureau. After more than five years into an economic recovery, one in four children (25.2%) in North Carolina remained in poverty in 2013 –unchanged from 2012 and higher than the national child poverty rate (22%). At a time when we are experiencing an economic recovery, it is troubling that our state’s child poverty rate is not declining and remains significantly higher than the national average.

The numbers become even more meaningful when considering the disadvantages children in poverty face: less access to early education programs and high quality schools, food insecurity, higher stress levels and higher dropout rates, among other risk factors. Recent findings in brain development research also warn of the impact of toxic stress associated with poverty on a young child’s developing brain. Toxic stress can weaken the architecture of a child’s brain, creating long-term challenges that make it hard for one to be economically secure as an adult. Other numbers are rising for children across the nation and in North Carolina that we certainly don’t want to see on the rise. Infant mortality and child mortality has increased in North Carolina. There has also been a rise in the number of homeless school children, according to recently released national data. Both are indicators of poverty’s tight grasp on America’s and North Carolina’s children.

Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center, Poverty and Policy Matters

Economic hardship persisted at high levels in the nation and North Carolina in 2012, according to new figures released today from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). The national poverty rate in 2012 remained at 15 percent for the second consecutive year, still higher than pre-recession levels three years into the official economic recovery. There were 46.5 million Americans living below the federal poverty line, which was $11,945 for an individual and $23,681 for a family of four in 2012.

This data is yet another confirmation that the economic recovery continues to bypass middle- and lower-income families. The growth is also sidestepping certain demographic groups, including children, communities of color, and women. Read More