According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every six (1) Americans is now living in poverty. The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans (2) are either "poor" or "low income". That is nearly half of America.
Today, 22 percent of all children in the United States are living in poverty. (3) This is up from a low of 16 percent in 2000 and 2001. Consistent with expectations related to the economic downturn, child poverty has increased annually since 2006, when the rate was 17 percent.
Approximately 57 percent (4) of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are either considered to be either "low income" or impoverished.
Poverty is the worst in American inner cities. 29.2 percent (5) of all African-American households with children are dealing with food insecurity. No child should grow up hungry in America. But 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger.
The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million. (6) That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.
More than a million public school students in the United States are homeless. (7) That number has risen by 57 percent since the 2006-2007 school year.
In addition to the harmful consequences for children, high rates of economic hardship exact a serious toll on the U.S. economy. Economists estimate that child poverty costs the U.S. $500 billion a year (8) in lost productivity in the labor force and spending on health care and the criminal justice system. Each year, child poverty reduces productivity and economic output by about 1.3 percent of GDP.
Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent. (9)
There has been an explosion in the number of "working poor" Americans in recent years. Today, about one out of every four (10) workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the poverty level.
What all of these trends reveal is that the American Dream is increasingly out of reach for many families. The promise that hard work and determination will be rewarded has become an increasingly empty promise in 21st century America. It is in the best interest of our nation to see that the American Dream, an ideal so fundamental to our collective identity, be restored.
Daphne Wayans is an American television personality and relationship expert. She is best known as the former wife of Keenen Ivory Wayans, creator of the FOX sketch comedy In Living Color. She is a strong supporter of many philanthropic causes and is a woman of unshakable faith and values. But first and foremost, Daphne is a loving and dedicated mother. Learn more >
Kate Linder is an American actress, best known for her role as Esther Valentine on The Young and the Restless. Kate has been starring on The Young and the Restless for 30 years and she's also one of two Daytime Governors at the Academy of Television Arts and
Sciences, who present the Emmys. For her contributions in television,
Linder earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Learn more >
highest rates of child poverty
The United States has one of the
in the developed world.
roughly 1 in 5 children are in need
16,000,000 CHILDREN LIVE IN POVERTY
according to the US Census Bureau
The Love Can Initiative unites people to help children in need. Together we can make a difference in a child's life.
She is best known for her roles as Marah Lewis on Guiding Light and Taylor James on One Tree Hill. She previously starred on Saved by the Bell: The New Class as Katie Peterson.