Fri September 30, 2011
Record Number of Hispanic Children Living in Poverty
Hispanic children now make up the largest group of children living in poverty in the U.S. The Pew Hispanic Center reports more than 6 million Hispanic children were classified as living in poverty last year. That’s more than any other racial or ethnic group. The report said the recession of 2007-1009 hit Hispanic children especially hard. The Center’s Mark Lopez said population growth and high birth rates are also factors.
“What’s interesting about this is that Latino children make up a quarter of the nation’s children and how these young people mature, the kind of adults that they become will have implications for the nation as a whole simply because they are such a large share of the nation’s children population," Lopez said.
Poverty is defined as a household income of just over $22,000 a year for a family of four. Some Austin non-profits have reported they’re seeing a lot of Hispanic children relying on their food pantries and programs.
“A lot of what’s been coming through are single mothers or mothers who were in relationships but their husbands have been deported. And most of the time those families, the father is the sole bread winner. I wouldn’t say they make a huge chunk of what we’ve been seeing more of but they certainly have become more common,” said Zully Paulin with El Buen Samaritano in Austin. The organization serves low-income Hispanic families.
The Capital Area Food Bank says it serves many Hispanic children living in South and East Austin.
You can read the Pew Hispanic Center's full report here.