Child Poverty
8:30 am
Wed July 23, 2014

New Study Reveals Marked Increase in Connecticut Children Living In Poverty

Wade Gibson, director of Connecticut Voices for Children's Fiscal Policy Center.
Credit Ray Hardman / WNPR
"We may be the only state that has had a 50 percent rise in child poverty."
Wade Gibson

The number of Connecticut children living in poverty has increased 50 percent since 1990, according to a new report.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation's 2014 Kids Count Data Book looked at 16 indicators of a child's well being. In general, the news was good. Connecticut ranked seventh nationally and saw improvements in a number of indicators, like the number of children not attending preschool, the number of children without insurance, and the number of low birth weight babies.

The data also indicates a widening divide in the outcomes for white children and children of color.

Orlando Rodriguez, a legislative analyst for the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, took a closer look at the statistic that nine percent of all Connecticut children live in so-called high poverty areas. 

"Children living in poverty among non-Hispanic whites: only one percent. For African-American and Hispanic children, a quarter live in poverty."
Orlando Rodriguez

"Once we break this apart by race and ethnicity," Rodriguez said, "we see that children living in poverty among non-Hispanic whites: only one percent. For African-American and Hispanic children, a quarter live in poverty."

Then there is a glaring statistic: the number of children living in poverty has risen by 50 percent since 1990. "There are very few states in the country where you can say that," said Wade Gibson, director of Connecticut Voices for Children's Fiscal Policy Center. "We may be the only state that has had a 50 percent rise in child poverty."

Gibson said the gutting of middle class jobs in Connecticut since 1990 is one of the reasons why more children are living in poverty.

The news was good for Connecticut adolescents, who saw improved numbers for teens who abused alcohol or drugs, teen births, and students not graduating on time.