Washington state has fourth lowest child poverty rate in U.S.

August 30, 2007

Washington State now has the fourth lowest child poverty rate in the nation, tied with Hawaii. Last year, Washington ranked 21st in the U.S.

The new 2006 data show that gains begun in 2005 have steadily increased, say researchers at the West Coast Poverty Center, located at the University of Washington. Analyzing data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today, the researchers said that in 2005, Washington's child poverty rate reached a five-year high, 16.6 percent. By comparison, however, the national rate was 17.6 percent.

Increases in child poverty in Washington accompanied falling employment rates and stagnant incomes from 2000 to 2004. Then in 2005, as Washington employment and median income began to recover, child poverty rates began to decline. By 2006, Census Bureau data showed that child poverty in Washington had further declined. The bureau lists 2006 child poverty rate in Washington as 10.5 percent, or 159,000 children. By comparison, the national rate for 2006 was 17.4 percent.

Historically, children have been the poorest age group in the United States, with poverty rates frequently almost double those for adults, said Robert Plotnick, spokesman for the Center. In 2006, the rate of childhood poverty in Washington was 140% of the rate for adults, improving from a high of 146% last year but still not quite down to the 2000 level of 126%.

The Census Bureau releases poverty, income, and health insurance statistics annually. The federal poverty line varies depending on family size and makeup. In 2006, the poverty line for a family of four with two children was $20,444; for a single individual, it was $10,488.

The West Coast Poverty Center is a federally funded hub for research and education on causes, consequences, and effective policy responses to poverty in west coast states.

The Center averaged the Census data over three years to improve precision of measurements. (Because of relatively small sample sizes, single-year estimates at the state level are too imprecise to draw strong conclusions.)

Source: University of Washington

Explore further: Researcher develops living wage calculator

Related Stories

Researcher develops living wage calculator

August 10, 2015

With income inequality emerging as an issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, you may well begin to see references to MIT's Living Wage Calculator (LWC). This online spreadsheet lets anyone calculate a wage required ...

Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

April 25, 2015

Buffalo's chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, ...

Recommended for you

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.