Press Releases

News from EPI Child poverty rises dramatically in most states

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 28th, 2010
Phoebe Silag or Karen Conner, 202-775-8810

While the overall poverty rate was high in 2009, the child poverty rate was even higher. Nationwide, one in five children lived in poverty in 2009, new Census data shows. The 2009 data on child poverty rates by state ranged from highs of 31.0% in Mississippi and 29.4% in the District of Columbia to a comparable low of 10.8% in New Hampshire.

 Mississippi and Arkansas have the highest overall poverty rates in the nation (at 21.9% and 18.8%, respectively), and Florida saw the largest increase in poverty (2.8 percentage points) over the course of the recession.  Poverty was lowest in New Hampshire (8.5%) and Alaska (9.0%), but even in those states at least one in 12 residents lived in poverty.

These data show just part of the impact of the Great Recession on families across the United States. The unprecedented length and depth of this downturn calls for a strong response to combat the rise in poverty. 

Click here to see EPI’s interactive maps of poverty and child poverty by state.