CHILDREN IN POVERTY SERIES: Just the Facts

This is the first in a series of blogs about children in poverty. 

Just the facts . . .


It is estimated that there are over 72 million children in the United States under the age of eighteen. As a writer who is attempting to break into the Children's Literature market, that number sounds wonderful. The more kids, the more books. But . . . yes there is a but, a large portion of that 72 million kids live in poverty or low income families who probably cannot afford to buy a book. That is disconcerting. Not because they can't afford to purchase the books so many kid lit authors work so hard on, but because children are suffering. 

Writers portray kids from all walks of life, but do they really understand what it is to go to bed hungry, or move in the middle of the night because their parents can't pay the rent, or live with relatives who see them only as another burden, or cope with a society that looks down on them? In the coming weeks, I hope to shed some light on what these kids are going through, and discuss ways we--as writers and readers--can help. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, these are the facts:
  • 32.4 million kids live in low income families
  • 16.1 million kids live in poverty
  • In 2012, the Federal poverty level was considered to be: $23,050 for a family of 4; $19,090 for a family of three; and, $15,130 for a family of two
  • "Although black, American Indian, and Hispanic children are disproportionately low income, whites comprise the largest group of all low-income children and Hispanics make up the largest group of poor children under 18 years old." 

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