Ending Child Poverty

More than 14.7 million children in America were poor in 2013, with more than two-thirds in working families. A disproportionate number are Black and Latino. Poor children often lag behind their peers in many ways beyond income: They are often less healthy, can trail in emotional and intellectual development, and are less likely to graduate from high school. Poor children are more likely to become poor parents. Every year we let children live in poverty, it costs our nation half a trillion dollars in lost productivity and increased health and crime costs.

Our vision is to end child poverty. We must ensure all parents and caregivers have the resources to support and nurture their children: jobs with livable wages, affordable high-quality child care, supports for working families like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and safety nets for basic needs like nutrition and housing assistance. We must also ensure every child in our rich nation has access to high-quality early childhood development and learning, comprehensive health coverage and care, and quality K-12 education so all children can reach their full potential.

CDF's new groundbreaking report Ending Child Poverty Now shows how we can shrink overall child poverty by 60 percent, Black child poverty by 72 percent, rural child poverty by 68 percent, and improve the economic circumstances of 97 percent of poor children simply by investing more in programs that work like the EITC, SNAP, housing subsidies, subsidized jobs, the Child Tax Credit, child care subsidies and others. Read the report and spread the word about its important findings. You can also sign up here to receive updates on how you can support our campaign to end child poverty now.

How to End Child Poverty

To end child poverty we must ensure all parents and caregivers have the resources to support and nurture their children: jobs with livable wages, affordable high-quality child care so that caregivers can work, supports for working families like the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and safety nets supports like TANF, nutrition, and housing assistance to make sure children’s basic needs are met.

Read about how the nation could cut child poverty by 60 percent just by investing more in programs and policies that work. The Children’s Defense Fund’s new report Ending Child Poverty Now shows that contrary to what some believe, we do not have to accept having the second highest child poverty rate among advanced economies. For the first time this report shows how we can shrink overall child poverty by 60 percent, Black child poverty by 72 percent, rural child poverty by 68 percent, and improve the economic circumstances of 97 percent of poor children simply by investing more in programs that work like the EITC, SNAP, housing subsidies, subsidized jobs, the Child Tax Credit, child care subsidies and others. Read the report and spread the word about its important findings. You can also sign up here to receive updates on how you can support our campaign to end child poverty now.

To help today’s poor children succeed in adulthood and reach their full potential we must also ensure every child in our rich nation has access to high-quality early childhood development and learning, comprehensive health coverage and care, and quality K-12 education. Finally we must replace the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® with a pathway to college and career.”

Child Poverty in Your State

State data released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 18, 2014 revealed that child poverty remains at record high levels in the states, and that the highest rates are for children of color and young children.

Forty-two States Still Have Higher Child Poverty Rates than Pre-Recession

Four years after the official end of the recession, 42 states still had child poverty rates that were statistically significantly higher than when the recession began, ranging from 7 percent higher in Oklahoma to 48 percent higher in Nevada. Eight states and the District of Columbia had child poverty rates in 2013 that were essentially the same as in 2007: Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Find out what Child Poverty looks like in your state.

Family and Advocate Resources

Mississippi Campaign to End Child Homelessness

The Children's Defense Fund-Southern Regional Office is a partner to and serves on the advisory board of the Mississippi Campaign to End Child Homelessness, an action plan to end child homelessness. According to the campaign, more than 12,100 children are homeless in the state each year. The Mississippi Campaign to End Child Homelessness recommends establishing a statewide Interagency Council on Homelessness to increase coordination and collaboration among state leaders and agencies, social service providers, community leaders, and families to ensure a sustained, coordinated response as a step toward preventing and ending child and family homelessness. Two state lawmakers, Senator Hillman Frazier and Representative Stephen Holland, proposed Senate Bill 2609 and House Bill 1236 in early 2011 to address this issue — however, the legislation did not pass. One of the council's objectives would be to develop a statewide Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Mississippi that includes a focus on the needs of homeless children, youth, families, individuals, and veterans

Learn more about the interagency council and how you can take action.

Data and Resources

Our new report Ending Child Poverty Now shows how we can shrink overall child poverty by 60 percent, Black child poverty by 72 percent, rural child poverty by 68 percent, and improve the economic circumstances of 97 percent of poor children simply by investing more in programs that work like the EITC, SNAP, housing subsidies, subsidized jobs, the Child Tax Credit, child care subsidies and others. Read the report and spread the word about its important findings. You can also sign up to receive updates on how you can support our campaign to end child poverty now.

Get the latest data and resources on child poverty from the Children's Defense Fund.