Poverty Facts

Child Poverty costs the U.S. an estimated $500 million a year due to increased expenditures on health care and the criminal justice system, and in lost productivity in the labor force later in life.

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Child poverty costs the US approximately $500 billion a year in reduced economic output, or 4% of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

This is not a measurement of the direct government costs of poverty (TANF, food stamps, etc), but the long term effect of a population of adults raised in poverty: high dropout rates, low college attendance rates, low productivity and earnings, bad health, and high levels of crime and incarceration among adults.

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In Washington 32% of Hispanic children and 45% of African American children under 6 are below the federal poverty level.

At the next level, 61% of Hispanic children and 68% of African American children are ‘low income’ (200% of the poverty level, $46,100 for a family of 4). Most of these children have no access to high quality pre-k, home visiting, high quality child care, or other programs that have been shown to close the opportunity gap for minority and poor children.

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Children from families earning less than $35,000 a year are twice as likely (12%) to have a learning disability than those from families earning more than $100,000 (6%).

Children in single-mother families were about twice as likely to have learning disabilities (12%) or ADHD (13%) as children in two-parent families (6% and 7%).

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