Hearing "child poverty," you may not have a clear picture of what it looks like in your own nation. While poverty is the single greatest threat to children's well-being, there is much more difference to be made.
A national study on child well-being was published on Wednesday, finding that 14.7 million children were poor in 2009 across the United States. The number represents 20 percent of the nation, and represents a 2.5 million increase from 2000.
The research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that poverty rose in 38 U.S. states.
The increase was caused by the recession, hitting children in Nevada which showed the highest number of children whose parents are unemployed or underemployed. According to the Associated Press, the study finds that 13 percent of all Silver State babies, toddlers and teenagers have been kicked out of their homes because of an unpaid mortgage.
The annual survey monitored by policy makers across the nation concludes that children from low-income families are more likely to be raised in unstable environments and switch schools than their wealthier peers, said the AP. As a result, they are less likely to be gainfully employed as adults.
Economically disadvantaged children can also result in reduced economic output, higher health expenditures and increase criminal justice costs for society.
"People who grew up in a financially secure situation find it easier to succeed in life, they are more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to graduate from college and these are things that will lead to greater success in life," said Stephen Brown, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "What we are looking at is a cohort of kids who as they become adults may be less able to contribute to the growth of the economy. It could go on for multiple generations."
Among other findings, infant mortalities, child and teen deaths and high school dropout rates have declined, while the number of unhealthy babies has increased.
The research was conducted with data from many sources, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Delinquency Survey and U.S. Census Bureau.
According to National Center for Children in Poverty, nearly 15 million children in the United States - 21% of all children - live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level - $22,050 a year for a family of four. It is said that families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses. This standard shows that 42% of children live in low-income families.