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Trends in Child Poverty and Extreme Child Poverty The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) is a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for over 35 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. We champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation. Supported by foundation and corporate grants and individual donations, CDF advocates nationwide on behalf of children to ensure children are always a priority. Trends August 2008 PDF.

All Children
One in Six is Poor; One in 13 is in Extreme Poverty
From 2000 to 2007:

  • Poverty increased by 1.7 million children (15.0%) to reach 13.3 million.
  • Extreme poverty increased by more than 1.1 million children (24.5%) to reach 5.8 million.

Latino Children
More than One in Four is Poor; One in Nine is in Extreme Poverty
From 2000 to 2007:

  • Poverty increased by 960,000 children (27.3%) to reach 4.5 million.
  • Extreme poverty increased by 547,000 children (46.8%) to reach 1.7 million.

Black Children
One in Three is Poor; One in Six is in Extreme Poverty
From 2000 to 2007:

  • Poverty increased by about 323,000 children (9.0%) to reach 3.9 million.
  • Extreme poverty increased by 376,000 children (23.8%) to reach 2.0 million.

White, non-Latino Children
One in Ten is Poor; One in 23 is in Extreme Poverty
From 2000 to 2007:

  • Poverty increased by 237,000 children (5.9%) to reach 4.3 million.
  • Extreme poverty increased by 158,000 children (9.6%) to reach 1.8 million.

In 2006, 1 in 5 children in America were Latino. In addition, more than one million of the 4.3 million births in the United States in 2006-or nearly one in four newborns-were to Latino mothers.

  • More than 3 million Latino children (one out of every six) are uninsured.
  • A larger percentage of Latino children are uninsured than in any other racial/ethnic group. Almost 40 percent (3.1 million children) of all uninsured children in America are Latino, and almost one out of five Latino children is uninsured.
  • Nine out of ten uninsured Latino children live in working families.
  • Latino children in working families are 45% less likely than White children in working families to have private health coverage.
  • Latino children are two and a half times as likely to be uninsured as White children, and only about one half as likely to have private insurance.
  • Latino children with disabilities are more than twice as likely as White children with disabilities to lack health coverage.
  • Roughly two-thirds of all uninsured Latino children are eligible for CHIP or Medicaid according to their family income qualifications, yet are not insured.
  • Between 1989 and 2006, the proportion of Latino births that were low birth weight increased by 12.9 percent, and the proportion of pre-term Latino births increased by 9.9 percent.
  • More than one out of every five Latino two-year olds is not fully immunized. Yet every dollar spent vaccinating children against measles, mumps, and rubella, saves $16 in future costs.
  • Latino children are 60 percent more likely than White children to have gone more than two years without seeing a health care professional and are two thirds more likely to have no regular place for health care.
  • Latino children are 50 percent more likely than White children to have an unmet medical need, 50 percent more likely to have an unmet dental need, and 30 percent more likely to have gone more than two years without seeing a dentist.
  • Latino children are almost twice as likely as White children to have an unmet medical need because of cost.
  • One in 3 Latino babies is born into poverty, and 3 in 10 Latino children are poor. The number of poor Latino children increased by 1.5 million from 2000 to 2008, to 5.0 million. Poor children are more likely to face barriers to health coverage.
  • While only a small percentage of all children in America are in fair or poor health, Latino children are 50 percent more likely than White children to be in fair or poor health.